Highlighting the issue of gender equality at last Thursday’s (15 July) Tweed Shire Council meeting Councillor Katie Milne (Green) put forward a notice of motion (NoM) for a trail continence bin for men at Banora Point Community Centre.
Mayor Chris Cherry (Independent) pointed out that 30 per cent of men between 70 and 84 suffer from incontinence issues and that men can be reluctant to advocate for themselves on this issue.
‘If there is 30 per cent of the male population having an issue and it might be curtailing them going out then in terms of gender equality I am in support of this,’ she told the meeting.
However, Councillor Warren Polglase (Conservative) told the meeting that he wouldn’t be supporting the NoM as it was ‘one of those areas addressed quite adequately by those concerned’. He also said that there were potential issues of vandalism, that it adds extra work to go around empty the bins and that the Banora Point Community Centre was primarily used by women.
Councillor Katie Milne (Greens) pointed out that the lack of the incontinence bin for men at the community centre might be why it wasn’t being patronised by men and said she was ‘hoping to support more than one bin’.
Councillor Ron Copper mused if he should have ‘declared a conflict of interest in the vote’ but declared his support pointing out that ‘if you have to throw the pads into the paper bin that isn’t appropriate’.
Addressing the concerns of Cr Polglase, Mayor Cherry acknowledged the issue of vandalism but highlighted that the emptying of the bins wouldn’t add untoward extra work to empty the bins.
‘We do already provide this service in women’s facilities and that this would not ad any significant burden onto that service provision.
Councillors Pryce Allsop (Conservative) and Polglase voted against the NoM however, it was passed with the support of Mayor Cherry and Councillors Milne, Cooper, Reece Byrnes (Labor) and James Owen (Liberal).