Proposed public toilet plan

File photograph



AT the latest council meeting on Monday, April 3, Latrobe City released the draft Public Toilet Plan for 2023-2033 for public consultation.

The purpose of the plan draft is to provide the community with the opportunity to guide council on what would best constitute council’s $5 million 10-year plan for public toilets.

There are six driving principles in delivering the plan, which is firstly public health and hygiene, the need for safety and privacy, accessibility and inclusion, ease of maintenance, sustainability and clear communication around availability.

Latrobe City’s plan proposed by policy officers is to provide equitable, safe, accessible, well-maintained and sustainable public toilet infrastructure to support community participation and social inclusion across the Valley. The plan recommends the construction of new toilet facilities at Churchill CBD, Morwell CBD, Traralgon CBD and Immigration Park (Kernot Lake).

Proposals have been made in the draft to remove some existing facilities based on their poor location and poor condition, these include toilets at Glendonald Park, Churchill, Moe Town Hall, Morwell Recreational Reserve and Yinnar South Tennis Courts. Council has agreed upon the refurbishment of 10 existing facilities and also the relocation of another three toilets to better locations nearby.

There has been a recommendation that council should keep a consistent design facade across the Valley. Alongside 24-hour facilities in major towns to be Exeloo’s (self-cleaning and vandal proof), baby change table upgrades, better provision of sanitary bins, sharp disposals units, hand soap and grab rails.

New inclusive language has also been considered to display ‘toilet’, ‘accessible toilet’ or ‘ambulant toilet’ to be in line with the Gender Equality Act 2020. In the officer’s report into public amenities in the Valley, officers found ‘all gender toilets’ help people from the LGBTIQ+ community to feel safe physically and mentally healthy.

Councils are open to public submissions and encourage the public to have their say regarding public toilets in the Valley.

Cr Graeme Middlemiss identified some areas the community could critique at the council meeting.

“I’d say to our community to take a close look at this report and let us know what your views are. This is a forward-looking report for 10 years … the question I’d ask of our community is: ‘Do you think you’re getting what you want?’ For instance are all sections of the community comfortable with unisex toilets?”

Cr Darren Howe highlighted the importance of community engagement.

“We need as many people to get involved with this … the needs of a retired couple in their 70’s very different from those of a young family with children…we are judged not only by our residents but our visitors, Latrobe City is what, an hour and a half, two hours from Melbourne, and if we want travellers to stop and spend time in our great city, we need to have clean, prepared toilets and have them in the right locations,” he said.

The report, released to the public for their feedback will be accessible for a six-week period via the ‘Have Your Say’ page on the website, social media and council noticeboard.

Council will engage with the Latrobe City Council Disability Access and Inclusion Community Engagement Group, Positive Ageing Community Engagement Group and the Cultural Diversity Committee for further public communication and feedback.