Most towns across Australia can boast some simple features that help to ensure the comfort and safety of their citizens – these include pedestrian crossings (well documented, before and after recent installation outside Bilo) and public toilets.
Until just recently, Helensburgh had neither but now with the imminent opening of a new toilet in Charles Harper Park, the community can be relieved of that burden.
A toilet was added to the pool building behind the park some years ago, but there were ongoing issues with access and signage, so the new facility stands a short distance away, directly beside the LJ Hooker building, at the bottom end of the car park on Parkes Street.
Out of this development has come other improvements, such as formalisation of disabled parking, and improved pathways which indicate access to the toilet while also creating a buffer between the LJ Hooker building and the adjacent parking spaces.
However, it seems that the specific placement of the toilet has not been without incident – Julie Humphries at LJ Hooker, indicated that it had been planned for a spot directly adjacent to the glass sliding doors of her building, and after consultation with Wollongong Council, had succeeded in getting in repositioned out of view, behind an existing colourbond fence. The plumbing for the toilet was recently completed, but this proved to be a problem, as it showed that the toilet had not gone back the designated 3.2m as agreed, and was still sitting in front of the fence. The plumbing was repositioned, and after the cement slab was laid today, the toilet is now in place in the correct spot.
There is one last hurdle to overcome, namely the shared driveway which leads into the carpark, which in the absence of dedicated fencing, becomes a walk-way from the carpark to the toilet. Julie says, “It’s human nature to take a short cut, but unfortunately in this case, it is along a driveway that regularly has vehicles coming and going, as part of their daily business. The original plans indicated pool fencing to be constructed between L J Hooker’s driveway and the pathway. This was to ensure the safety of the public who will now use this route even more frequently. Council recently hinted that new coppers logs would be the preferred fencing, however we are sure Council will see fit to provide the pool fencing as a suitable solution as we are would be devastated if anyone was hurt.”