One of the recommendations of the Ferry Road and Little Oyster Cove Precinct Plan 2009 was to build a new public toilet block separate from the Bruny Island Ferry Terminal at Kettering. Despite $8.0 million being committed to upgrade Ferry Road the toilet block recommendation fell by the wayside. Now locals are lobbying State-seat candidates for Franklin to re-incorporate funding for improved conveniences in their upcoming election campaign promises.
The following article appeared in the Kingborough Chronicle of 4 February 2014:
Issues surrounding the toilet facilities located at the Bruny Island ferry terminal at Kettering and Roberts Point have been highlighted by both Councillor David Grace and Mermaid Cafe owner, Rick Gumley.
Currently, the three female toilets (one out of order), one stall in the male and a urinal, along with a disabled toilet, have been servicing hundreds of holiday makers over the busy festive season and New Year period.
Staff at the Mermaid Cafe, located at the ferry terminal (Kettering side), currently clean the toilets but receive a number of complaints about the outdated nature of the facilities and the lack of toilets available. With ferry lines backed up for kilometres, and the wait to board the ferry at some times close to three hours over the holiday period, the facilities have been deemed below average. Both the male and female toilets have to be closed during cleaning, leaving only the disabled toilet available.
An upgrade of the current facilities, along with the introduction of a new toilet block, would be welcomed by both tourists and locals of the area. However, if a new toilet block was to be placed at the ferry terminal site (Kettering side), it would be a matter of infrastructure as to where the building could be placed. The facilities are property of the State Government, therefore the decision of an upgrade would be for the State to decide.
Minister for Infrastructure, David O’Byrne stated that the ferry operator is responsible for the toilet facilities at the Roberts Point terminal and the owner of the Mermaid Café for the Ferry Road terminal facilities. He also highlighted that the upgrade of the road should make a significant change.
“With the $6 million State Labor Government funded upgrade of Ferry Road and the introduction of an additional ferry service during peak times, it is expected the demand on ferry terminal facilities will reduce. Better management of traffic and reduced waiting times will ensure a more pleasant trip for all ferry users,” Mr O’Byrne said.
If elected for the next term of government, Labor will ensure appropriate toilet facilities are provided for ferry users and will look at upgrading the facilities in addition to the work that is already underway.” “This is of no fault of anyone. The facilities have just outgrown themselves,” Councillor Grace said.
Councillor Grace also highlighted the problems with the toilets at Roberts Point (Bruny Island terminal). These toilets are also outdated, requiring an upgrade.
“Infrastructure on both sides is a concern,” said Councillor Grace. Considering that Bruny Island is marketed as ‘a must visit destination’ when visiting Tasmania, the toilet facilities that are available to the public are leaving a lot to be desired.
Councillor Grace also pointed out that at the Roberts Point terminal, if the wait line is long those wanting to use the toilet have to either drive or walk, which could potentially be a significant problem for a member of the public who is in a wheelchair for example.
Councillor Grace said the issue had been going on for far too long and that he was meeting with both David O’Byrne and Jacquie Petrusma to discuss the issue further.