Letter: New toilet concerns

I have been asked by a number of concerned residents to ask some information on the new construction of toilets at Rainbow Beach. 

I have been told there are six unisex toilets plus an outside cold shower. Why were the old toilets not revamped with solar panels and hot showers provided. 

Most parents are concerned that their daughters have to share a toilet facility with boys and vice versa. There doesn’t seem to be much foresight from council where this is a major growth area and the new facility will not suffice. Other parental concerns were that the new Facility is very close to the busy road and children would run from toilets onto road. The existing structure could still remain and be revamped this is a major growth area. Shame on you council and shame on you BHPA for accepting the crumbs thrown to you by council.

Steve Bryson

Bonny Hills 

Council’s response

A few points for your information:

The proposal to demolish the existing toilet block and reconstruct a smaller toilet facility was included in the Bonny Hills Reserves Master Plan in 2012. 2 options for relocating the toilets were provided for community comment. 

The location on the edge of the reserve near the entry drive was the communities preferred option and the master plan was adopted by council for implementation. The existing toilet block is a large structure that blocks views and takes up unnecessary space in the middle of the reserve. 

By designating the toilets unisex, it means there are less cubicles required and therefore the toilets take up a smaller footprint in the parkland area. 

Relocating them to the edge of the reserve means that there is more space for recreational pursuits and views are opened up. There are five unisex toilets proposed. Similar toilets have been installed at Lake Cathie Aqua Reserve with positive community response. We also have unisex toilets in other reserves that have proven very functional.

There will be two outdoor showers. There are no hot water showers in the municipality. Outdoor showers provide a safer and more hygienic environment removing opportunities unsavoury or predatory behaviour. The old toilets were in poor condition with asbestos in the roof. They also were not a safe environment for children’s use.  It was not cost effective to renovate them and their demolition provides the opportunity to construct a toilet with a smaller footprint of modern design that is much safer.

The new toilets face into the park with their back to the road. The location was proposed and agreed to in the master plan in 2012 for reasons mentioned above.

Rebecca Doblo

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council

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