The City of Yarra’s pathetic dithering about the construction of a new public toilet in Fitzroy is giving me the shits. They are so fucking useless. The proposed toilet site on the corner of Westgarth St and Brunswick St has been abandoned due to a mere 10 objections. Never mind the thousands of people who would make use of the facility. The Firefighters Credit Union apparently could not deal with the toilet being nearby.
Never mind that the Council’s documents state that ‘The public toilet facility located on the corner of Kerr Street and Smith Street in Fitzroy and other areas of the municipality have proven to be successful’ (Westgarth and Michael St issues, 37kb PDF). Not when a few NIMBY whingers are scared of shoppers and cafe visitors needing to use a toilet.
Hilariously, the same document states ‘Most businesses do have toilets for their customers, however these are not generally available for non-paying customers and most of them are not accessible to people of all abilities.’ That’s exactly what I said about the Council’s failed plan from a year ago to outsource the provision of public toilet facilities to private businesses. The loser who came up with that ridiculous idea should be publicly named and shamed.
Bizarrely, Council seems to have not given up on this stupid scheme. According to the 2010-2011 proposed budget (press release and 3.1mb PDF), they are planning to spend $10,000 on this:
Accessible Public Toilets Project – a project worker will be employed to carry out tasks to set up a pilot partnership scheme between Council and participating businesses in Queens Parade in order to provide access for the general public to toilets in the retail area.
This is despite the fact that Council states in its own documentation (referred to above) that toilets in private businesses are generally not suitable for use by the public because of security fears from business staff and from accessibility problems. They say something different and contradictory in every document they publish. You can’t plan stupidity like this – it is evidently pure, spontaneous and honest.
The most inane bit of mediocre political posturing about the proposed toilet is featured on Socialist Party councillor Steve Jolly’s blog, where he suggests that the toilet was proposed to be built near the Firefighters Credit Union office on Brunswick St as some kind of right wing insult against the union. Jolly opposed the location and wants the toilet to be on the corner of Brunswick St and Johnston St. This is a pointless proposal as there is not enough space there, which he well knows. The Westgarth St location was chosen because the footpath is wide enough to allow for the toilet, just like the one on the corner of Kerr St and Smith St.
In the May 2010 Yarra News, p4 (1.8mb PDF), they state that ‘Council aims to install or upgrade one public toilet in Yarra’s strip shopping areas each year’. I love it how they announce new policy announcements like this buried in fluff news articles. Their public toilet policies are nonsensical. Each year the ideas change but their pointlessness remains the same. A year ago they were refusing to build new toilets. And in the past year they have done nothing but find new excuses not to go ahead and build more. Every councillor is a joke and should be held accountable for this mess. The shit that can’t be flushed should be forcibly smeared on their faces.