Public toilet upgrades to be prioritised

TOILET TIME: The public toilet block behind Heathcote's tourist info centre was one nominated by readers for upgrades and increased maintenance. Picture: DARREN HOWE
TOILET TIME: The public toilet block behind Heathcote's tourist info centre was one nominated by readers for upgrades and increased maintenance. Picture: DARREN HOWE

The City of Greater Bendigo says it has plans in the pipeline for a public toilet strategy to help determine which local facilities are most in need of upgrades.

The council’s building and property manager Andy Walker said council maintained a number of toilets of different ages and conditions.

He said the review would prioritise any future upgrades and would be ready for public comment early next year.

His comments came after the Bendigo Advertiser presented the council with reader feedback on the state of local public toilets.

Heathcote’s toilets were the most criticised, with 20 of the 48 survey responses calling for upgrades or cleaner facilities.

In Bendigo, the Coles car park and Hargreaves Mall toilets copped a bit of criticism, with many calling for more regular cleaning.

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Lauren Knuckey said at times she had found herself with no other option but to hold her young child over the toilet because it was covered in faeces. 

“I would love for there to be a seat for my girls so we don't have to sit on the rim,” she wrote.

Tania Van Diesen, agreed some facilities were dated, but noted that some people did not treat them well.

“Same when it comes to cleanliness, you make the mess you clean it up. If you need to flush more than once, do so, no one wants to see what you left behind. Have some respect for others and for yourselves,” she wrote on Facebook.

Planning and development director Prue Mansfield said a number of local toilets were cleaned multiple times of day to keep up with demand.

“The Hargreaves Mall toilets are cleaned twice a day (except on Sunday when they are cleaned once), the Lyttleton Terrace/Coles car park toilets are cleaned twice a day and the Heathcote toilets are cleaned three times a day,” she said.

“Maintaining all council facilities to a high standard is a priority for the city but public toilets are particularly challenging. They need to be extremely robust, and can go from clean to not acceptable in the space of a few minutes.”