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28 January 2015

Ipswich servo denies basic rights: Plans hit skids after servo's dunny denial

DESPERATE TIMES: Paul Tully says Ipswich City
 Council will be busting to make sure they
 get the right decision.

FORGET the pub with no beer because surely there's nothing so annoying, upsetting and unfunny than to walk into a servo without any dunny.

That's what Ipswich City Council reckons anyway and they're willing to go to court to fight for our right to service station toilets.

It's a family day out tradition - dad pulls the car in to refuel and get some more ice for the esky and the wife and kids pile out and head for the welcome relief of the loo.

With this in mind, the council has vowed to carry the can on behalf of the city to force a company to include public toilets in its service station extension.

Matilda Fuels wants to expand its service station on Downs St North Ipswich to include a 7-Eleven convenience store.

In its development application, it has asked for the standard requirement for conveniences at a service station to be removed from the conditions of approval.

Condition 12 requires the applicant to provide customer toilets but while there are plans for staff toilets, the rest of us might have to cross our legs or resort to more basic alternatives.

"We've said no to that," planning and development committee chairman Paul Tully said.

"It's like a service station not having tyre pumps.

"We're saying the public expects service stations - like fast food outlets - to have public toilets.

"We're saying it's a standard requirement and we're not going to let the public down."

It's a serious issue but some councillors couldn't help a bit of levity, although they stopped short of toilet humour.

Andrew Antoniolli questioned whether the mayor leaked the story to media, while Bruce Casos said the public would be relieved at the decision to oppose the company.

"We'll be busting to make sure we get the right decision; we're prepared to fight them in the Planning and Environment Court over this," Cr Tully said.

Mayor Pisasale said service stations were community facilities and should share the load.

"People go there for groceries, little things they forget - it costs you more but people don't mind because it's convenient," he said.

"Most people when they are out on a drive stop at the service station and the family goes to the toilet.

"I just say let common sense and community wishes prevail. Let's all get on with the job. They've got to put in staff toilets, just back them up next to them."

Company puts its case for loo review

Matilda Fuel's application says: "An overall outcome of the commercial and industrial code of the Ipswich Planning Scheme makes reference to the provision of on-site public toilets for commercial uses 'where the size or type of the development warrants this approach'.

"The scale of the proposed service station is not considered one which requires a public toilet. A service station...largely servicing a local community, with small retail floor area and no provision for on-site dining, does not require a public toilet.

"Due to these factors, patrons of the service station have limited reason to extend their visit other than for the purposes of refuelling and paying.

"We therefore request council remove condition 12."

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