PERTH’S most controversial toilet saga has come to an end with Maylands to get a loo in an empty garden bed near the train station.
A public toilet’s long been needed in the area and Bayswater council tried for a while to put it on Public Transport Authority land, but the PTA steadfastly refused due “major security and safety issues”.
In 2019 Bayswater council approved a toilet next to the Seventh Avenue Bridge, but it required the relocation of an unusual sculpture made out of railway sleepers from the now-demolished 1913 wooden bridge.
That prompted on-site protests and many in the Maylands Residents and Ratepayer Association and Maylands Business Association condemned the plan. Former Bayswater councillor Terry Gaunt vowed to stand in the way of construction equipment and face gaol rather than see art make way for a commode.
Later that year councillor Elli Petersen-Pik, one of two councillors to vote against the bridge site, requested requested for everything to go on pause while the council investigated other spots.
While the PTA was still refusing a loo, resident Brian Selfe discovered a strip of road reserve on Whatley Crescent under council control.
Cr Petersen-Pik welcomed the end of the tale: “The famous toilets are now operational. The saga is finally over.”
He thanked Maylands MP Lisa Baker for securing a $140,000 toilet grant, the MRRA and MBA “for their intensive advocacy” on it, Mr Selfe for identifying the golden sliver of land, fellow councillors for being open to a change of plans, and Bayswater staff for their work getting it over the line.
by DAVID BELL