By Luke Voogt
“Maintenance issues” have caused a $200,000 blowout and a more-than-one-year delay in the construction of new central Geelong toilets.
Council last Friday announced construction would begin on the new public toilets next week, with City Hall expecting the work to finish in August.
But in March 2020 council issued an almost identical statement saying the new toilets would be complete by July that year.
Council allocated $460,000 in its 2019-20 budget for the project to replace former underground toilets on Moorabool Street.
But “maintenance issues associated with ground water that needs to be pumped from existing underground amenities” had delayed the project, according to council city services director Guy Wilson-Browne said.
“There was also a requirement to co-ordinate the works with other central Geelong projects underway, such as the Green Spine works in nearby Malop Street,” Mr Wilson-Browne said.
“As a result, the total budget for the works, including design and preliminary investigations, is now $660,000.”
The new toilets, on the western side of Moorabool Street, will replace the former underground male and female toilets on opposing sides of that street.
Last year council permanently closed both “outdated” underground toilets, which were long-time targets of “ongoing vandalism and anti-social behaviour”.
The new complex will include two gender-neutral cubicles, a Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant toilet cubicle, and a changing facility.
“The welcome upgrade will provide visitors to the CBD with modern, clean and universally-accessible amenities,” Geelong mayor Stephanie Asher said.
“The facilities will be more secure and inviting for users and be much easier to maintain to a high standard.”