Temporary toilet closures for staff safety

Published on 12 May 2023


Council will close the 'roundhouse' public toilets on the corner of Blende and Chloride Streets during cleaning times in an effort to maintain staff safety.


The toilets will be locked from 7am-8am and 12:30pm-1pm Monday to Friday, and 9am-10am Saturday and Sunday while cleaning is undertaken.


There have been 40 incidents of discarded needles and aggressive behaviour towards staff in the last 30 days at Council facilities (primarily public toilets), with 23 incidents reported in the last 11 days.


Council's General Manager, Jay Nankivell, said the temporary closures would help improve staff safety.


"We ordinarily aim to keep the toilets open during cleaning for public convenience, but unfortunately things have reached a stage where we need to take extra precautionary measures to protect staff as they carry out their work," he said.


"The toilets need to be locked during cleaning to provide a safe and secure environment for staff to undertake their work, which generally involves the removal of contaminated materials and sharps on a daily basis."


At the April Council Meeting it was resolved to meet with health officials to find a solution to the issue of used needles littering the CBD, and Mr Nankivell said initial discussions had taken place.


"We met with the Far West Local Health District (FWLHD) recently we've discussed the possibility removing the clean sharps dispensers from the FWLHD building on the corner of Chloride St and Crystal Lane," he said.


"It's something the FWLHD is looking into, and while we understand it's not a solution to the problem of drug use, we believe it would alleviate the issue of discarded needles littering the busiest area of the city."