Draft Public Toilet Strategy
Hobsons Bay City Council manages 37 public toilet facilities that vary significantly in age, style and standards. To meet the growing needs of our community, a Draft Public Toilet Strategy was developed to help guide the development and management of these facilities throughout the municipality.
The Draft Public Toilet Strategy includes:
- Criteria for determining where to provide public toilets, and what types of toilet to provide.
- An evaluation framework to guide decision-making about the provision of public toilets.
- A 10-year program of projects (upgrades, replacements and new installations) prioritised according to the evaluation framework.
- An additional program of Changing Places.
- Principles and guidelines for the planning and development of toilets.
- An indication of the anticipated budgetary implications of these actions.
The key recommendations identified for the future development and management of Council’s toilet stock are:
- Continue to progressively replace or upgrade older, substandard toilets.
- Develop Changing Places in key locations to support people with higher support needs, their families, and carers.
- Introduce a program of upgrades to the existing toilet stock with a focus on compliance and signage.
- Assess future toilet needs and requests against a new evaluation framework to ensure improved strategic alignment in decision-making.
- Introduce an annual program of demand and use audits to improve information used in decision-making.
- Investigate for possible adoption a new approach to signage that indicates the fittings/equipment within facilities and cubicles, rather than indicating expected gender of users.
- Establish a set of robust principles to guide planning and development of toilets.
- Establish a clear, documented process for making decisions, and implementing projects.
- Allocate a consistent annual budget to ensure completion of recommended works within the ten year currency of the Strategy.
Community feedback on the Draft Public Toilet Strategy is currently open and feedback is welcomed until 10 February 2023.
Hobsons Bay City Council manages 37 public toilet facilities that vary significantly in age, style and standards. At these facilities, there are 100 toilets (including urinal areas) and a mix of male, female, unisex and accessible toilet facilities available to the community. Currently there are 52 unisex cubicles at these facilities.
To meet the growing needs of our community, a Draft Public Toilet Strategy has been developed to help guide the development and management of these facilities throughout the municipality.
Council believes that providing public toilets that are accessible, safe, and all-inclusive promotes participation in community life for our diverse community.
This belief aligns with A Fair Hobsons Bay for All 2019-23, which aims to increase fairness and equity for all people who live, work, learn and play in Hobsons Bay. It also closely aligns with the Victorian Government’s Inclusive Victoria: State Disability Plan 2022-26 and Universal Design principles.
In accordance with the Victorian Gender Equality Act 2020, Council undertook a gender impact assessment (GIA+) to inform the development of the Public Toilet Strategy. This process assessed the differing needs of our diverse community and considered whether discrimination may occur based on a person’s age, ability, ethnicity, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation, or other attributes.
In completing the GIA+ assessment, Council consulted with representatives from a variety of leading advocacy, social services and community groups representing diverse communities such as the LGBTQI+, culturally and linguistically diverse people (CALD), women and children, people with disability, and people experiencing homelessness.
Council has considered the feedback received as part of the GIA+ when developing the Draft Public Toilet Strategy, and will continue to investigate how gender equity and legibility of amenities is provided at a given site.
A: No, an investigation of signage will occur following the community consultation and adoption of the Public Toilet Strategy by Council.
A: Only toilets currently signed as unisex will be assessed as part of the investigation. Where there are male only and female only facilities, no change will be made to this arrangement.
A: Council completed a Gender Impact Assessment as part of our responsibilities under the Gender Equality Act 2020. This identified some safety concerns and barriers to inclusion for people in the community.
A: The main objective is to provide safe and equitable access to public toilets in Hobsons Bay for all members of the community.
Example of unisex accessible toilets included in investigation (example shown is Blenheim Road Reserve, Newport)
The Draft Strategy has been informed by background industry research and feedback that was gathered from the community as part of the Stage 1 consultation process. The process provided feedback from the community on the condition of existing public toilets, your experience with using our public toilets, as well as where you thought there were gaps in the network.