15 April 2024

Eurobodalla Council's multi-year toilet upgrade aims to flush away poor public image

| Claire Sams
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Four men standing in front of a building under construction

Eurobodalla Council’s public amenities team members are rolling up their sleeves to give the shire’s toilets a much-needed makeover. Photo: Eurobodalla Shire Council.

Most people don’t think of toilets until they need them, but one South Coast council is making their facilities a priority.

Eurobodalla Shire Council director of community arts and recreation Kathy Arthur said council staff were taking a closer look at the region’s toilets after a review.

“We now have a dedicated public amenities team to implement the strategy which addresses cleanliness, maintenance and inclusivity, ensuring that public toilets meet the highest standards and cater to the diverse needs of the community,” she said.

“We recognised the importance of modern and hygienic facilities for residents and visitors alike.

“We know there is a big disparity between expectation and satisfaction.”

The launch of the upgrade program follows an inspection of 67 public toilets and the release of the council’s Toilet Strategy 2023 – 2028.

According to the strategy, a 2021 independent customer satisfaction survey found 87 per cent of respondents gave the provision and maintenance of public toilets a rating of ”high importance”, though only 67 per cent were satisfied with their condition.

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Toilets at North Broulee and Narooma’s Nata Oval are first on the list for upgrades, with council crews to then tackle the public toilets at Moruya and Broulee surf clubs.

“We have categorised toilets on their condition and will address high-priority ones first, with the goal to upgrade them all over the next four years,” Ms Arthur said.

Before the work starts, the community will be invited to give ideas on what the upgrades to each facility should involve.

“We would also like to work with the community on public art in and around the toilets,” Ms Arthur said.

“Upgrades will include more accessible and unisex toilet options, water-saving fittings, better lighting and ventilation.”

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In between the upgrades, Ms Arthur said the public amenities team would run a maintenance program as needed.

“They tend to jobs around the clock: tasked to leaks or community inquiries when something is out of order,” she said.

According to the Toilet Strategy 2023 – 2028, Eurobodalla Shire’s 67 public toilets are split – 14 are at sports facilities, with 12 at retail areas, 10 at boat ramps, 20 at parks and playgrounds, and 11 at beaches.

The strategy is available on the council’s website.

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