Central Coast Council has resolved to install soap dispensers at all of its public toilets “where possible”.
Councillors rejected a staff recommendation that “Council endorse the installation of soap dispensers, vandal guards and signage at the identified 74 high use sites”.
The staff recommended that soap dispensers be installed in 12 Council-run public toilet blocks across the Peninsula, but not installed in another four.
Five toilet blocks in Umina, three in Woy Woy, two in Ettalong and one each in Pearl Beach and Patonga would get the dispensers.
However, the staff recommended against soap dispensers in two toilet blocks in Woy Woy and one in each of Blackwall and Patonga: the Stoney Park Public Toilet at 30 Rawson Rd and the Woy Woy Grandstand toilets at 51 Chambers Pl, the Kitchener Park Public Toilets in Maitland Bay Dr, Blackwall, and the Patonga Foreshore Public Toilets at 87 Bay St, Patonga.
It is unclear whether it is considered “possible” to install soap dispensers at these sites.
Staff chose the 74 sites because they had a frequent cleaning schedule, high usage, good visual surveillance or did not receive regular vandalism.
They recommended Installation of soap dispensers and vandal guards at these sites, with a timeframe of up to 10 weeks because the guards were custom made.
The council resolved only to install the guards “at up to 20 sites identified as being at high risk of vandalism”.
Mayor Cr Lisa Matthews said in a media release that, in making the decision, Council had weighed up the health benefits of soap being available to help reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 against the high cost posed by vandalism and the risk of people being injured if they fell on spilt soap.
“Previously, we haven’t installed soap dispensers because councils usually experience very high rates of vandalism in public toilets, even with soap dispensers and equipment which are considered vandal-proof,” she said.
“There is also a significant risk of falls and injuries if soap lands on the floor, causing a slip hazard.
“However, we know that washing hands with soap reduces the risk of spreading Covid-19 and we need to do all we can to reduce community transmission of the virus,” Cr Matthews said.
To reduce the risk of slip hazards, the dispensers would be installed directly over wash basins, she said.
Those in Umina assured of getting soap dispensers are the Bullion St Public Toilets, the Jasmine Green Park Public Toilets in Sydney Ave, the Mt Ettalong Public Toilets at 10 Berrima Cr, the Ocean Beach SLSC Public Toilets at 176 The Esplanade and the Umina Beach Public Toilet in Sydney Ave.
Those in Woy Woy to get soap dispensers are the Tidal Baths Public Toilet in Brick Wharf Rd, the Lions Park Public Toilet in North Burge Rd and the Correa Bay Reserve Public Toilets in Woy Woy Rd.
In Ettalong, dispensers will be provided at the Ettalong Beach Reserve Public Toilet at 68 Schnapper Rd and at the Ferry Rd Public Toilet.
The Pearl Pde Public Toilet in Pearl Beach and the Eve Williams Oval Public Toilets in Patonga will also both get soap dispensers.
Central Coast Council agenda 3.9, 24 Aug 2020
Media release, 24 Aug 2020
Lisa Matthews, Central Coast Council