Council’s Public Toilets Strategy was endorsed after the proposal was placed on public exhibition from 30 April to 12 June. In response, there were seven submissions from community members.
It follows an audit that found more than half of the city’s public toilets were in fair to poor condition, about half did not have adequate disability facilities, and many presented safety concerns due to their location or lack of lighting.
Under the newly adopted strategy, ageing and dilapidated toilets will be replaced with modern, new buildings.
Newly-constructed toilets will be ‘gender neutral’ to allow inclusive access for all members of the community and to enable parents to take young children of different genders into the facilities.
Other changes will include:
- The installation of adult change facilities for disabled people in the Albury and Lavington CBDs as well as National Foresters Grove and AlburyCity-owned swim centres
- Improvements to disability access, and
- Improved cleaning and maintenance standards.
The ageing and poorly-patronised Parent and Baby Room in QEII Square will be permanently closed. Built in 1966, the room is at the end of its useful life and as it’s not owned by council a major upgrade may not provide longevity of service or value to ratepayers.
Following feedback from the community on the Parent and Baby Room closure, Council proposes to build new toilets in QEII Square that will include baby change facilities, while an investigation will be undertaken into providing parenting facilities at nearby council venues.
Works to upgrade or replace the city’s public toilets will begin immediately, with new toilets to be constructed at National Foresters Grove, Hovell Tree Park, Thurgoona Drive, and Lake Hume Village during 2021, as well as a renovation of the Noreuil Park Foreshore toilets.
The inclusion of dedicated urinals can still be considered as part new gender-neutral toilets design.
In addition to the upgrade of stand-alone public toilets, a range of upgrades and replacements is proposed for change rooms to replace facilities that are reaching the end of their effective life and to help meet female and male participation demands.
Designs are currently underway for new toilets at Melrose Park, Sarvaas Park, Thurgoona Sportsground, and Greenfield Park.
A total of $3.85M will be spent on the program between 2020 and 2024.