Marrickville Council’s Public Toilets Strategy should not impose prison style toilets

MARRICKVILLE GREENS – MEDIA RELEASE

12 November 2015

Greens Councillor Max Phillips is calling on Marrickville Council to ensure the new public toilet strategy will create public toilets people will be willing to use and to avoid the stainless steel, seatless prison-style designs.

The Marrickville Council Draft Public Toilet Strategy recommends that seatless stainless steel bowls be installed or replace porcelain toilets and toilets with seats.
The Strategy says on page 104:
Toilet Bowls
Toilet bowls shall be stainless steel and integrated with a
concealed cistern. New stainless steel bowls are not to have
seats or lids. New stainless bowl design shall be contoured
like a typical toilet seat for public comfort. Where ceramic
bowls are existing, retain bowl and seat until vandalised or up
for renewal and replace with a new stainless steel bowl at this
time. Where existing stainless steel bowls are in use without a
contoured seat, review maintenance and vandalism history to
determine whether a seat and lid is appropriate.
Toilet Seat and Lids
Toilet seats and lids are not required on new stainless steel
bowls. New bowls shall be contoured like a typical seat for
public comfort. Any existing stainless steel bowls that are not
contoured, where seats and lids are being considered, the
outcome should be reviewed on a case by case basis and
consider maintenance and vandalism history.

“Public toilets are crucial community infrastructure and the overall strategy is a good one, however, I am very concern it takes us in a wrong direction with the toilet types,” said Greens Councillor Max Phillips.

“While seatless stainless steel toilets may be the most cost effective type of toilet and resist vandalism best, they are utterly uninviting and will deter a large section of the public from using public toilets at all

“Seatless stainless steel toilets are what you’d find in a prison cell and I believe are inappropriate in a neighbourhood park or shopping precinct.
“I have seen excellent new public toilets with porcelain toilets and full, comfortable seats installed, good tiling and lighting around Sydney.  If other councils can manage to create public toilets that are clean and inviting to use, then so can Marrickville Council, even if it costs a little more or requires a bit more maintenance.

“If a toilet is utterly utilitarian from the outset, then people will treat it as such with the result being a disgusting toilet in a short period of time.  If we create toilets that are more akin to what you’d find in a private bathroom, then people will treat it with more respect.

“I’m urging my fellow Councillors to say NO to prison-style steel toilets for Marrickville and ensure the Public Toilet Strategy provides porcelain toilets with seats for the bottoms of our residents and visitors.”

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