PEOPLE in Maylands town centre will no longer have to cross their legs after Bayswater council approved a new public toilet near Seventh Avenue bridge.
There’s no outhouse within 350m of the Maylands train station and locals have been complaining for nearly a decade about people peeing and defecating there.
But Marie Havila, who is redeveloping the nearby Maylands post office on Whatley Crescent into a wine bar, is not happy about the location of the new loo.
Ms Havila claims she wasn’t consulted about the toilet, and only found out about it on the morning of the council meeting.
Her husband Bruce said the corner is a gateway into town: “It’s going to be a beacon to thousands of people a day, and do you want them coming over the bridge and saying ‘will you look at that beautiful re-pointed building,’ and seeing a public toilet sitting right in proximity only 15m away from where people are eating and drinking,” Mr Havila said.
“I just don’t think it’s a great idea.”
The council initially wanted to install the toilet at the train station, but the Public Transport Authority repeatedly refused the request, citing concerns about who would maintain the loo and provide security.
Bayswater eventually voted to locate the toilet about 100m from the station, on state government land at the bridge, and got $140,000 in state funding.
A 2015 bridge sculpture, made out of old railway sleepers from the original wooden bridge, will have to be moved to accommodate the new dunny.
Councillor Catherine Ehrhardt, who worked with Maylands MP Lisa Baker on the toilet project, told the council meeting: “We’ve been trying to work with the PTA for nine long years to try and get permission to put a toilet on their land, because that is the ideal location … every step of the way they have said ‘no’.
“Yes, it’s not the first choice, but we’re not going to get our first choice.”
Councillors Chris Cornish and Elli Petersen-Pik wanted to hold off and find another spot for the loo, but they were out-voted.
Mayor Dan Bull said a toilet was “sorely needed” and even if they did did further consultation and chose another location there would always be detractors.
by DAVID BELL