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MEDIA RELEASE - Council Defends Closure of Clarke Street Toilets

30 November 2017

Glenelg Shire Council has defended plans to close Casterton’s Clarke Street toilets in readiness for the opening of its new Australian Kelpie Centre amenities.

The new $1.3 million tourism hub will offer modern and inviting public toilet access for the community in the heart of Casterton’s CBD featuring a new Visitor Information Centre (VIC), meeting spaces and interpretative Kelpie display.

The new Kelpie Centre is proposed to open in June, in readiness for the Kelpie Muster.

Glenelg Shire acting CEO Edith Farrell said the closure of the Clarke Street toilets was determined as a way to offset some proportion of the overall cost of the development.

She said recent negative media reports about the closure were ill informed, as there had been an extensive community consultation regarding the closure.

“The closure of the Clarke Street toilets has been broadly promoted and noted in all forms of consultation around this project. It was also outlined on the Glenelg Shire Council Your Say Glenelg website since the proposal was first mooted. This website provided the public with an opportunity to have their say over a number of months,” Ms Farrell said.

“Whilst the Clarke Street toilets will be closed to the public, they will be considered for opening for larger community events where required, such as the Kelpie Muster or the town’s Christmas festival.”

Ms Farrell said the Clarke Street toilets cost council $14,000 per year in cleaning in addition to ongoing maintenance costs.

“Initially, council approached local community groups to help with the cleaning and maintenance of the Clarke Street toilets to lower costs, in return enabling the toilets to remain open,” she said.

“Unfortunately, no community groups put their hand up knowing the closure of the toilets was inevitable if council could not lower these costs.

“The business case for the centre’s development identified the option of reducing costs by avoiding running both public toilet amenities.

“Using the new Kelpie Centre amenities, which will be available to the public 24/7, was the most cost effective and sustainable option,” she said.

Ms Farrell reminds community members that there were various public toilet options available in close proximity, including:
• The Casterton Library, open Monday – Saturday
• Island Park, open Monday – Sunday
• Casterton Farm Supplies (BP Service Station), open Monday – Sunday

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