New toilets are expected to be delivered at Apex Park on Byron’s beachfront by the end of the week, according to Byron Shire Council, while the surf club toilets are renovated. But not everyone is happy with the timing of the refurbishment and the impact of the portaloos.
Called Exeloos, a block of three self-cleaning, unisex toilets will take two weeks to install, says Council’s infrastructure services director Phil Holloway.
‘In listening to feedback from residents and visitors, the beachfront toilet amenities have been long overdue for an upgrade.
‘The new toilet block will be in place for the peak season and will include a baby change table.
‘In the meantime, the old amenities will be gutted and change rooms and storage lockers put in place. While an interim measure, the new toilets are far superior to the existing facilities and will be able to accommodate a higher number of usages owing to their self-cleaning capability.’
Mr Holloway says the block of three self-cleaning toilets is being located next to the existing toilet facilities at the Surf Club to help provide connection to existing water and sewerage services.
An additional six portaloos have also been brought in to help service the additional needs during schoolies, New Years Eve and the school holiday period.
Public toilets near Fishheads will also continue to be available 24 hours.
Whiff of protest
But local surf school owner Sean Riley was unimpressed with the arrival of six of Kenny’s finest on the Main Beach foreshore.
‘Not only will this be an insufficient amount toilets to handle the busy summer crowds that frequent Apex Park and the main “hang out spot” for the schoolies the smell/positioning of the toilets is already unbearable to visitors and locals alike,’ Sean Riley, owner of Soul Surf School, told the Echo.
‘This stench will only further increase with the large amount usage of the portaloos over the peak season and as the summer months heat up,’ he added.
‘Council is also planning to place a temporary Exeloo Toilet Block right near a childrens play ground and BBQ area which is not only unhygienic but a mismanagement of space and use in the park.
‘The proposed toilet block will obstruct views of the four shops at 14 Bay Street, the two up stairs apartments and also the views of people using the park to the beach and foreshore.
‘I understand council is looking to refurbish the existing toilets within the surf club, but the location and the means chosen in the interim are unacceptable.
‘Council obviously needs to take a look at their town planning modules a little closer and realise that conducting these works not only in peak season but in such a fashion is not in the best interest of local businesses, residents and tourist in Byron Shire,’ Mr Riley said.