Cottesloe Council scrubs idea of staff cleaning Indiana’s toilets

Stock picture.
Stock picture.

COTTESLOE Council staff will not be scrubbing public dunnies under the Indiana Restaurant on the beach after a report said it would be more expensive, dangerous and inconvenient.

A staff report, requested by councillors in October and heard at last night’s meeting, said a contractor to carry out the work would cost about $90,000 annually.

“A minimum of two additional town staff costing $110,000 would be required for these works to be carried out internally,” the report said.

Cottesloe Council took over the toilets when they were closed by the restaurant in August because of a long-running stoush over a lease that peaked with revelations the toilets were not the responsibility of the building’s Melbourne-based leasee Red Rock.

The council subsequently installed temporary portable public toilets on the beach, and will now renovate and maintain the toilets, using contractor Charles Cleaning Services until June 30, 2019.

In October, report proposer Cr Sandra Boulter said council cleaners could replicate the work done by rangers on national parks, including removing nearby rubbish.

However, the report said such an arrangement could expose council staff to chemicals and workplace safety hazards, overtime costs could be extra and there needed to be more than one set of toilets to be cost effective.

It also said there would be undisclosed risks if one of the cleaners was ill, retaining staff could be difficult given the seasonal work and it was too late to train staff for this summer.

“If a staff member was ill the toilets would be dirty that day and it would go straight to the newspapers,” Cr Melissa Harkins said.

Last night, Cr Boulter said she did not want the idea of council cleaners being “forgotten”, but she failed in her bid for the concept to be included in 2019-20 budget discussions next year.

Councillors agreed just to note in the information in the report.