The general manager of Byron Shire Council, Ken Grainger, in a Letter to the Editor (4/3/2015) mentions that, ‘previous Council administrations have not invested sufficiently in cleaning and maintaining amenities …’
One assumes Byron Council is short of money. Fair enough. No bed tourism tax etc.
Then Ken writes that Byron Council on reviewing our asset renewable budgets has begun to invest in new facilities.
‘There is money after all, just apparently not to be used to clean and maintain toilets.
In fact there is actually so much money that there is a plan to demolish existing toilets and replace them with new ‘state-of-the-art amenities’.
The Railway Park toilets were mentioned as a building to be demolished and replaced.
I inspected them as someone who has spent a lot of his working life renovating old buildings. It is a perfectly good building with many years of life left in it yet.
The door- jambs on the southern end, and a weatherboard on the bottom of the western side need replacing. A gutter is nearing the need for replacement because it is growing vegetation in it.
The gutter, jambs and board have deteriorated because of an inadequate maintenance schedule.
The inside of the toilet (male side only viewed) was in excellent condition with all the tiles intact except for one slightly cracked.
What was most noticeable was that the toilets stank for want of cleaning. Demolishing the building and replacing it, will not fix that problem.
In fact the cleaning problem will become worse through the use of scarce funds to unnecessarily replace amenities.
Byron Shire Council, along with the Western world needs to come out of the denial that has epidemically swept the developed world that there is a fundamental conflict between the ethics of consumerism and conservation.
Consumerism in the 21st century needs to give way to conservation.
In the cursory decision to replace sound buildings with ‘state-of-the-art’ constructions, humans are obviously engaged in proceeding with the consumerist ethic that, science is implying, has taken humans to the edge of a dead planet.
Geoff Dawe, Byrrill Creek