Community effort to save South Perth toilet block goes down the drain


South Perth resident Kim Clifton and fellow dog walkers believe they were not considered in the City of South Perth’s Ernest Johnson (EJ) Reserve redevelopment plan.
South Perth resident Kim Clifton and fellow dog walkers believe they were not considered in the City of South Perth’s Ernest Johnson (EJ) Reserve redevelopment plan.

COMMUNITY efforts to retain an Art Deco-style toilet block at Ernest Johnson (EJ) Reserve proved fruitless after the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) deemed it unworthy of a full assessment.

Earlier this year, South Perth resident Kim Clifton contacted DPLH in an effort to retain the facility that was due for demolition under the City of South Perth’s $10.5 million Ernest Johnson (EJ) Reserve redevelopment project.

A DPLH spokeswoman said the toilet block was considered by the Heritage Council in March but it had been determined to not be of cultural heritage significance at a state level and as such did not warrant full assessment.

Mr Clifton said with the block demolished, he and other members of his dog walkers group had been left with inadequate public facilities.

As part of the redevelopment plan, sports clubs have access to the clubroom, four changerooms, an officials changeroom, two universal toilets and two male and female toilets.

Two male and female toilets and a universal toilet can be accessed by playgroup and guide hall users, while the public has access only to a new single Exceloo toilet.

“The (old) toilet block had eight toilets and a urinal, which has been replaced by only one automatic toilet available for public use,” Mr Clifton said.

“We feel this is not enough for members of the public that do not attend the reserve for sporting actives or to use the new Hall and Pavilion, and truly believe we as dog lovers and long time users of the reserve have been completely ignored from the plan.”

With the demolition of the old EJ pavilion and hall, toilet block, cricket nets and Rotary Hall complete, the second stage of the redevelopment project is under way.

A new irrigation system has been installed to 70 per cent of the site and the remaining system will be installed as part of the further works scheduled for completion by September, which includes landscaping and planting, installation of paths, lighting, seating, a barbeque and drinking fountains.

Old playground equipment is also due to be removed and replaced in that time.

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