The Daily Bogan recently reported some incoherent nonsense about the ongoing public toilet issues in Fitzroy and North Fitzroy. After strongly advocating in favour of the new toilet on Victoria St near Brunswick St, including driving a lot of positive resident feedback to the City of Yarra, I was so pleased to see work beginning on the site late last week (below).
But opposition to the Queens Parade toilet is ongoing. Just as the Firefighters Credit Union protested against the proposed Westgarth St location, which was then rejected, the Commonwealth Bank is protesting against the Queens Parade location. But they have given no evidence that public toilets cause a problem for local businesses. Their protests are irrational, destructive to the local community and inhumane.
Stand for a few minutes on busy Smith St on a weekend and watch the queue of people, bags of shopping in their hands, waiting to use the public toilet on the corner of Kerr St. Normal people enjoying normal lives. They buy from local businesses. Local businesses pay rates to council. Council provides local services to encourage people to visit the area and spend money there that keeps local businesses viable.
It’s a mutually supporting and essential arrangement. Businesses with local branches like the Commonwealth Bank do not have the right to oppose the provision of legitimate services to local people and visitors. The bank would be closed on weekends when the toilets would be most used. And the bank does not provide toilets to its customers even when it is open during the day. It is unlikely to have any impact on that bank branch.
I say boycott the Commonwealth Bank until they learn to listen to the community and use some common sense instead of engaging in irrational fear mongering. What does these financial services providers fear? What is behind their pathetic behaviour? If they want to further their opinion they need to show some evidence of negative community impact because of public toilets. I don’t think there is any evidence.