LOCKING toilet facilities at recreational areas in the city is a poor reflection of Orange’s status as a sporting and tourist destination, according to Orange CYMS Cricket Club president Peter Snowden.
Mr Snowden said he was angry and frustrated the toilets were locked during a recent CYMS family event at Jack Brabham Park.
Players and their family members, including young children, had to drive to the country club, hospital and even into Orange to access a toilet.
“This is an absolute farce, particularly considering our club pays $2000 a season for membership,” he said.
“We were given a key which doesn’t even work, the whole system needs an overhaul.”
Mr Snowden believes Orange City Council has lost sight of providing the basics to residents and visitors to the city.
He is also critical of the way toilet and change room facilities are maintained throughout the city.
“At Riawena Oval the toilets and change rooms are filthy. You can’t have a shower because the shower heads don’t work,” he said.
Orange and District Junior Football Club president Tony Mileto said his club used keys to unlock and lock the toilets when teams were playing or training at Jack Brabham Park.
“I understand it is hard for people from the public who might want to use the toilets when we’re not there, but in fairness to council sometimes we don’t finish training under lights until 7.30pm and that would cost council money,” he said.
“But if one of our members with a key has been held up at work that can become a problem.”
Orange Softball Association secretary Pam Kelly says the key system works well for their organisation, which is working with council to overcome issues of disability access to the nearby toilets.
“We have put in place a portable toilet, which we use for participants in our disability program and we share the cost of that with council,” she said.
Mr Snowden said he was at a loss to understand why toilet facilities in Orange had not always been a priority.
“I work near Robertson Park and I go for a run through the area each day,” he said.
“People stop me all the time asking for a toilet and I have to direct them to a nearby pub or over the road to the library because we still don’t have a toilet built in the park.”
Orange City Council spokesman Alan Reeder said council utilised rangers to unlock and lock toilets in the city, which are well used by the public.
“Obviously it is not seen as cost effective to do that but certainly council is happy to hear any submissions,” he said.
Mr Reeder said the cost of maintaining facilities in the city far outweighed contributions made by sporting clubs throughout the city.
Council is also investigating a complaint that the toilets on the eastern side of Jack Brabham Park were locked during a recent event.