FORMER Orange resident Ron Boulton has urged Orange City Council to lift its game when it comes to the city’s public toilets, singling out the automatic toilet at the driver reviver stop on the Mitchell Highway as a “bloody disgrace”.
Mr Boulton said the single-cubicle toilet had been without a toilet seat for months, leaving a bad impression on visitors to the city.
“It’s just the bare pan, which for the blokes it’s OK but it’s no good for women and there would be hundreds of women travelling through,” he said.
“I’m disappointed that nothing’s been done when all it needs is a seat. In winter it would be awfully cold sitting on that pan.
“It would have to be a major embarrassment for council.”
Mr Boulton said he had complained to the council three times about the missing seat but nothing had changed and he said the cleanliness of the toilet during the day was also below par.
Council spokesman Allan Reeder said the toilet block had been the subject of many vandal attacks over recent months, but it did not excuse the long wait for repairs.
“Council maintenance crews are very frustrated with the continued attacks, but it’s not good enough that it’s been out of action for many months,” he said.
Mr Boulton said it felt like the council was letting the vandals win.
“Why we should we suffer?” he said.
“It’s the vandals that should suffer.”
Mr Reeder said the council hoped to have the seat replaced by the end of the week, but it was not a simple process and a specialised repairer would have to travel from Sydney.
“It’s complicated with an automatic toilet, as part of the design they have to remove the whole stainless steel toilet to fix it,” he said.
“It’s a lot more costly repairing automatic [toilet] units than the other [toilet] units.
“There are advantages to automatic units but one of the disadvantages is the the repairs are not handled by council.”
He said the council was looking to change the toilet to make it more vandal proof and cheaper to repair.
Mr Boulton said the council should have installed two cubicles in the toilet block instead of the single unisex automatic cubicle.
While Orange’s public toilets are in short supply, other smaller towns managed to meet the needs of visitors with rest facilities “smack bang in the main street”, Mr Boulton said.
“When they get to town most people want to use a toilet,” he said.
“If you were staying in Orange and you wanted a public toilet where would you go? Not everyone knows about the toilets at Cook Park.”
Mr Boulton applauded councillor Glenn Taylor’s idea to transform Esso Park into a rest area, saying the western end of Orange needed a public toilet.
He said the toilet earmarked for Robertson Park would also fill a void in facilities, but criticised the McNamara Lane location saying it should front Summer Street where it could be seen by travellers.