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August 09 Edition Cover

Stink over closed toilets

03 Jul 2014

Stink over closed toilets Image

NewQuay visitors and business owners are frustrated over the closure of the last public toilet in the precinct.

The toilet, located in St Mangos Lane at the base of the Palladio building, has been locked for the past two months after the building’s owners’ corporation (OC) became dissatisfied with the standard of cleaning by City of Melbourne contractors.

According to Asime George, OC manager for Boyd, Palladio and Sant’Elia, the toilets are the property of the OC and were being maintained by City of Melbourne.

“These were in a badly neglected state, repeatedly vandalised and potentially unsafe to use,” Ms George said.

The St Mangos Lane toilets were closed two months ago, while toilets in Caravel Lane and Aquitania Way have reportedly been closed for more than 12 months.

Bill Price, owner of LATS Bakery in St Mangos Lane, said the closure had negatively affected his businesses.

Mr Price said foot traffic in the lane had slowed down considerably since the closure.

He said he had lost many customers, including cab drivers and cycling groups, who had visited his bakery because of the close proximity of public toilets.

“Just shutting the toilets down has cost me about $800 a week,” Mr Price said.

Visitors to the area are also frustrated by the lack of public toilets.

Boat owners Harvey and Leanne Cleggett moor a boat in NewQuay Marina and have been lobbying the council over the lack of public toilets in the precinct.

“What are people expected to use during events?” Mr Cleggett said.

Ms Cleggett agreed, saying: “The council is spending money drawing people here through the fireworks in winter, but once they are here there are no toilets for them
to use.”

On June 6 Mr Cleggett received a letter from Lord Mayor Robert Doyle acknowledging the need for public toilets in the precinct.

“I agree that the recent closure of toilets at St Mangos Lane by the relevant owners’ corporation has created a shortage of public toilets in the precinct,” the letter said.

“There are no immediate plans to construct new toilets in the Docklands precinct, although a proposal will be developed for the 2015/16 financial year.”

“In the meantime, council officers will have further discussions with property management companies within Docklands in an attempt to negotiate an alternative public toilet arrangement within another existing building.”

A City of Melbourne spokesperson told Docklands News, the council was negotiating a new arrangement and was hopeful the St Mangos Lane toilets would be reopened shortly.

The spokesperson said the negotiations also included discussions about additional facilities.

Ms George said the owners’ corporation was working co-operatively with all stakeholders to resolve the matter and regretted any inconvenience.

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