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Byron Shire
March 5, 2021

Good toilets? A good council?

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The mark of a good council is the state of the public toilets. I’m sure this has been said by someone famous, and Bill Rawlinson’s letter last week illustrated the mark of Byron Council clearly.

Unfortunately, it’s not just the Brunswick sports ground toilets which bear the stench of inadequate maintenance. It’s all the Brunswick toilets! I can’t even remember when there was an adequate lock on the mens’ by the river, and the yellow stains in the bowls must be nightmare stuff for young kids caught short.

Why is it that here in Australia we have the proverbial ‘blind spot’ in our civic and personal awareness around dunnies? How is it that I can travel Europe and never see a dirty dunny? And why are our businesses saddled with the extra maintenance that comes about due to the public opting for their convenience because they are scared of catching something in the council crapper?

The council is holding talks about the future of tourism in the Shire. Subject one should be a strategy that makes our dunnies the pride of the Shire. Imagine dunnies that welcome people rather than terrify them, dunnies that ensures a fragrant rather than a fetid moment for sitters and standers.

Bill has done what we are all asked to do. He has been to council, talked to a councillor, talked to the contractor, all to no avail. Seems any such public spirited action only ends up in deeper shit.

Since Bill complained we’ve gone from daily hose-outs at the sports ground john, to weekly – WTF?

Councillors, you all have the luxury of a home dunny and I’m sure you value your clean seat. What an opportunity to invest in happier tourists, less grumpy residents, and a bit of Byron brand management.

Imagine if we went to Byron for a week and our best memory was the dunnies!

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