UNISEX: The toilets in the IGA carpark in Woongarra Street.
UNISEX: The toilets in the IGA carpark in Woongarra Street. Mike Knott BUN041217TOILET2

Resident pooh-poohs unisex public toilets

NEW toilet blocks are popping up around the region that only feature unisex cubicles.

The move is something Bundaberg Regional Council says has a range of benefits, including practicality and cost effectiveness.

But the change has been met with dissatisfaction by one resident, who said public toilets needed to cater to everyone separately.

Childers resident Peter Myers penned a letter to the NewsMail about the new toilet blocks after a recent trip to Bundaberg.

He said his partner had a negative experience and said he believed the change should have involved community consultation.

"A few days ago my wife and a female friend were in Bargara and visited the new toilets,” he said.

"But when they saw that these were all unisex, they 'held it' and waited until they got back to Childers - an hour or so.

"A man had spoken to them, saying 'I'll go in with you'.”

Mr Myers said it wasn't the only concern.

"Sharing a toilet at home with family members is one thing; sharing a toilet with large numbers of strangers is another,” he said.

"Urinals are more hygienic; replacing them with bowls is a health risk.

"This is being done for ideological reasons - because a small percentage of people do not identify as either male or female, eg transsexuals or intersex people.”

The toilets in the IGA carpark in Woongarra Street.
The toilets in the IGA carpark in Woongarra Street. Mike Knott BUN041217TOILET1

Mr Myers said it was "fine to build a unisex toilet for those who prefer them” but the needs of people who did not should be catered for as well.

A council spokesperson said the new toilet designs met current industry standards and provided an elevated level of safety and security.

"The toilet doors open out and also eliminate the need for a vanity wall which are potential security risks,” the spokesperson said.

"The new structures generally have more room and are light, bright and airy.”

The spokesperson said there was a range of places where the council was using unisex toilets.

This included Christsen Park, Oaks Beach, Elliott Heads, Mary Kinross Park, Burnett Downs and the IGA car park in the Bundaberg CBD.

"All disability toilets are also unisex by design,” the spokesperson said.



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