Big stink over Casino toilets

A PETITION calling for theinstallation of self-cleaning pub-lic toilets at two locations within the Casino CBD has been rejected by the Richmond Valley Council.

The petition, organised by the Richmond Valley Ratepayers and Residents' Association,requested the council install the unisex toilet cubicles just off Walker Street in Simpsons Parade and just off Barker Street in Terminal Parade.

However, the council at its June meeting last week rejected the proposal, citing concerns over the suggested locations and a lack of funds in its already overstretched budget.

In a report to the meeting, council's director of works, Gary Murphy, said Simpsons Parade and Terminal Parade would have to be closed to through traffic if the toilets were installed at the sites suggested.

He also said it would cost the council at least $210,000 to buy and install the two toilets, plus another $5000 a year to clean – picking up drink cans, newspapers, syringes – and service each of the units.

Mr Murphy said no money had been provided in the 2010-2011 budget, which was already $482,700 in the red.

The council did, however, agree to revisit the issue ofpublic toilets in the Casino town centre as part of its future planning program.

It will also ask staff to investigate improved signage for all toilets in the CBD, including toilets at the Casino Library, the council chambers and those proposed for the new Community Cultural Centre.

Ratepayers' association member Mavis Mohammed, who has been leading the campaign for extra public toilets in the CBD, described council's decision as immensely disappointing.

She said the existing public toilets in the Civic Hall were too far away for many shoppers, particularly the elderly and the very young, to access and were not open after hours or on Sundays.

“I can't believe the council put together the project to upgrade the CBD and didn't include toilets.” she said.

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