Toilet troubles at a Traralgon reserve

A secluded reserve, popular with Traralgon locals, has been thrust into the spotlight amid calls for the installation of public toilets.

The Traralgon Railway Reservoir Conservation Reserve – a hidden treasure located on Hickox Street in the town’s south – features running tracks, wetlands, barbecue facilities and drinking water, but has no rest rooms.

The town’s community development association is hoping to change this, and has urged residents to write to council in support of toilets.

Traralgon CDA president Axella Johannesson said a lack of amenities meant people could not spend as much time at the reserve as they would like.

“You go there and unpack your food and have a nice picnic then somebody says ‘I need to go to the toilet’ so then you have to pack up and leave,” Ms Johannesson said.

“I can’t even think of where the nearest public toilets are.”

The TCDA has not discussed “in much detail” what kind of amenities they would like to see at the reserve, but Ms Johannesson said security and maintenance needed to be considered, along with a design that would be “vandal proof”.

The reserve’s committee chair, Gary Deane, said they had considered toilets over the years and supported such a development.

He said reserve sponsor ENGIE had written to Latrobe City Council with the backing of the committee.

“We actually applied to the (council’s) CEO in the regard that the committee supports the establishment of toilets as long as our conditions were met,” Mr Deane said.

He said if there was no cost to the committee, including for the planning, maintenance and security, and its members had “some bearing” on the location of the toilets they would endorse the project.

Latrobe City Council manager of recreation Jamey Mullen confirmed council had received ENGIE’s request for toilets.

“Currently the construction of a toilet facility at the Traralgon Railway Reservoir Conservation Reserve is not identified in any Latrobe City Council strategies or plans and would be a significant cost,” Mr Mullen said.

“Latrobe City Council will commence discussions with the Traralgon Railway Reservoir Conservation Reserve Committee and ENGIE in regards to the proposal.”