14 November 2023

Luxurious gender-neutral public toilet opens along Kidman Way in Darlington Point

| Oliver Jacques
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side view of new public toilet block

The new public toilet in Darlington Point will be handy for Riverina residents driving to Melbourne. Photo: Supplied.

A new public toilet in Darlington Point is now open to residents, visitors and Riverina families transiting through the town on their way to Melbourne.

“Located in front of the cemetery and opposite the Gum View Cafe, this much-needed facility fills a crucial gap in the town’s infrastructure, providing not only a gender-neutral toilet but also a fully accessible toilet that is suitable for people with high support needs,” Murrumbidgee Council said in a statement.

The facility has been registered on the National Public Toilet Map app, which provides locations and details on 19,000 public toilets across Australia (a concept once envisioned by the character George Costanza on the TV show Seinfeld).

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Darlington Point resident Brenda Selover, who cares for her disabled son, described the new facility as fantastic.

“It was most definitely needed in our community,” she said. “It is a beautiful, clean facility that is well designed, with the lift making it ideal for both the disabled person and their carer.

“When you are going through a town, it is really hard to find a suitable and clean toilet.

“This one’s location on the main road makes it easy to find and convenient to access.

“This is also important if the person has a medical incident while at the facility as it’s easily accessible by medical services.”

Murrumbidgee Council Mayor Ruth McRae said the opening of the facility was not just about convenience and accessibility, but also building a more inclusive community.

She said she was proud of the new facility and the fact the council was enabling people with high support needs to fully immerse themselves in the community.

The new facility comes with a range of features designed to make it as accessible and user-friendly as possible.

These include a height-adjustable, adult-sized change table, a ceiling track hoist system, a peninsular toilet, additional circulation space (compared with standard accessible toilets) and an automatic door.

The toilet has been accredited and received an official statement of compliance as a dedicated Changing Places facility (suitable for people with high support needs).

Both toilets within the complex are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but the accessible toilet availability is restricted and requires a Master Locksmiths Access Key (MLAK) for entry. Anyone eligible for an MLAK can find more information on the Master Locksmiths website.

Cr McRae added the council had plans to build similar facilities in Coleambally and Jerilderie as part of its change facility masterplan.

“Facilities such as these are an integral part of our Disability Inclusion Action Plan, which strives for an inclusive community,” she said.

Also included in the development is car and truck parking. There is temporary parking as the council awaits the final design.

The facility was made possible with funding from the Australian Government through the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.

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