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No Public Toilet in Rooty Hill Shops

Two businesses in the western Sydney suburb of Rooty Hill say lack of public amenities in the area is keeping customers away.

Couple Mrs. Jaspher and Mr. Gilbert de Leon of Jas My Waffle restaurant and Marilyn Miranda of MelChrisel bakery belong to a number of growing business owners in Rooty Hill, a suburb which has 13,377 residents.

These business owners believe that public toilets are crucial to cater for the growing number of patrons of shops along Rooty Hill Road North.

At the moment most shop owners there have to direct customers who need toilets to a nearby pub. Jas My Waffles restaurant and Melchrisel bakery re-direct their customers to the Imperial Hotel pub facilities, which in turn has to turn children away.

When asked about this issue, local Blacktown City Councillor Charlie Lowles said he does not support the idea for public toilets in the area. He said the installation of toilets could bring about more problems in the future: “The tragedy here is that some public toilets would also be open to abusers or drug dealers and kids can get molested in toilets.”

“You’ve got to have some sort of security because of the society that we now live in,” he added.

His argument is rejected by Mrs Jaspher de Leon,”“If the toilet is located close to public area, close to the train station or close to the bus or the shops, nothing’s going to happen.”

She explained that they have to deny requests for people to use their private toilets due to Occupational Health and Safety. Customers have to walk down the back stairs to enter, which could be potentially dangerous.

“Besides, we’ve got stock and staff’s personal belongs in there as well. So that is our private stuff in there,” said Mrs de Leon.

She said the lack of toilet facilities in the area has affected the sales of small businesses as customers have cancelled their orders when they hear there are no amenities.

“On weekends, we got about 30 or 40 sportsmen who come from cycling workout in the cycle way of the M7 freeway. They look for toilets whilst at or after visiting our place” said Mr De leon.

Kurt Webber, an employee from The Imperial Hotel pub said that at least 20 people come in daily to use their toilets and several have been denied access for being underage.

Both Mr Webber and the De leons say that security was something the council could take on board when locating the facilities.

Cr. Lowles said however that: “Toilets have to give you a sense of security, but inside it’s not secure.”

His solution is for more shops to install toilets.
“I’d love to see more shops install toilets in their shops – that’s the way to go I feel or to have them manned, but there’s a cost to that of course,” he said.

At present, the council is not prepared to take action due to safety concerns, but for now the public is advised to use the facilities of The Imperial Hotel pub or the local Medical and Dental Centre.