It’s important that people can use and feel comfortable using public toilets right across Merri-bek.

We want to hear from the community what you think about public toilets, including what you need and where you need them.

Provision of public toilets is a core Council function. When people are out and about in the community, the length of time they can spend out can be limited by access to suitable toilets. For some, ability to access a toilet is directly related to their ability to venture outside their home. For others, it is the design, designation and facilities available at the toilets that determine their comfort with using them and associated levels of participation in community life.

Council is responsible for decisions to provide public toilets, their construction and upgrade, their hours of operation, their cleaning, supply of consumables and waste removal.

Public toilets are assets that receive people’s attention when they are not working, closed, or there isn’t one when needed. Access to public toilets is a universal need and Council plays a key role in meeting that need.

Council’s Disability Access and Inclusion Plan states that Council will "go beyond principles of Universal Design whenever possible, so [buildings] can be accessed by everyone".

Merri-Bek's LGBTIQA+ Action Plan commits to develop new public toilet technical guidelines that consider safe and accessible all-gender facilities.

The Moving Around Merri-bek Strategy links the provision of facilities, which includes public toilets and drinking fountains, to encouraging active transport.

Merri-bek Open Space Strategy Action Plan envisages an action to "investigate creating new consistent wayfinding guidelines for open space across Merri-bek, including distances by foot and by bike and nearby community facilities such as public amenities."

The Climate Risk Strategy identifies the need to ensure all assets delivered by Council (including public toilets) are highly efficient, provide safe spaces for residents and are able to withstand the impacts of climate change.

Guiding principles

There are 5 key principles driving the provision, design and operation of public toilets.

These principles each encompass user needs, which in turn translate to implications for design and designation of toilets, their location, the operating arrangements applying to them and the availability of information about them.

Public toilets should be:

Public toilets that are available:

  • Are located where they are most needed
  • Are delivered as part of other projects where this fills a need
  • Have an adequate number of stalls for usual usage
  • Are not regularly closed due to blockages and damage for sustained periods
  • Account for likely users when setting opening hours
  • Account for those who rely on public toilets 24/7
  • Account for the needs of field-based Council staff
  • Publish their opening hours and facilities

Public toilets that are fully welcoming:

  • Are clean and graffiti free
  • Feel safe and do not attract illegal activity
  • Are child and family friendly
  • Feel inclusive for male, female, trans, non-binary and gender diverse people
  • Are friendly to all social and cultural groups
  • Add to the amenity of the local area
  • Look good

Public toilets that adhere to Universal Design Principles are equally accessible for everyone including for:

  • A person who uses a wheelchair
  • A person who is frail or uses a walking aid
  • A person with vision impairment
  • A person with a hidden disability
  • A person wheeling a pram
  • A person who is a carer

Public toilets that are fully functional allow for:

  • Access to drinking fountain
  • Changing nappies
  • Sanitary disposal
  • Sharps disposal
  • Changing of continence products
  • Other needs people have

Public toilets that are environmentally sustainable:

  • Are energy-efficient and 100% renewably powered
  • Minimise potable water use
  • Manage biowaste responsibly
  • Minimise waste and pollution
  • Enable sustainable transport
  • Are resilient to climate-related impacts

Join the conversation

On the map below we have marked the locations for all the public toilets in Merri-bek. You can toggle layers on and off using the button that looks like this An icon with rectangles stacked on top of each other to represent layers

Key to layers