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Collapse Issue 496:<br />15 Jun 2020<br />_____________Issue 496:
15 Jun 2020
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
On-demand commuter bus service stops abruptly
Council resists campaign for soap in public toilets
Keep coral trees, says shade tree group
Ownership mistake discovered
Registered clubs re-open to limited numbers of patrons
Her own teeth, a sense of humour and an able body
Landcare group seeks answers about damaged trees
Parking meters removed from implementation plan
Proposed swimming pool removal prompts action
Hardy's Bay hall re-roofed
Closing date extended for comment on facilities policy
'Play space' strategy online soon
Library offers select and collect service
Economic strategy to be open for public comment
Holstein elected to fire management committees
Local picnic spots miss out on Council listing
Safety concerns recorded for Peninsula schools
John Della Bosca honoured for service to public health
Friendship led to career seeking social justice
Peninsula more vulnerable than average to job losses
Check for unclaimed money, says Crouch
Council and national park campsites reopen
Umina PCYC plans to resume classes
Coronavirus puts damper on 70th birthday celebrations
Designs wanted
Peninsula records low rainfall in wettest month
Mutu St upgrade was needed
Exhaust all public transport and current parking options
Council's parking essay must make us all tremble
Planning Statement raises two queries
Issues keep circulating on planner merry-go-round
Planning vacuum fails to consider flooding
Principal asks that children wear helmets
Woy Woy school is yet to reopen to parents and carers
New plan for Year 5 opportunity class
Digital scoreboard installed at Woy Woy oval
Roosters expect to field three teams this season
Netball association frustrated by lack of clear guidelines
Charity bowls expected to resume soon
Leisure Centre re-opens for exercise
Pretty Beach tennis court reopens
Real estate interest led to local development

Council resists campaign for soap in public toilets

Despite advocating hand-washing to help minimise the spread of coronavirus, Central Coast Council has decided not to provide soap in many of its public toilets, according to community group Operation Soap in Public Toilets.

The group, which has itself placed soap in toilets around the Peninsula, claims the Council "removes the signs we leave to say where the soap has come from".

The group is backed by Professor Stephanie Short, who specialises in public health at the University of Sydney's Faculty of Medicine and Health, and who is a Woy Woy resident.

"Our mayor tells us to continue to practise good hygiene, including washing your hands before and after using any equipment, yet there is no soap supplied in the majority of Council-owned public facilities," she said.

"Council has advised we are ready to welcome visitors ... but we have been advised to continue to act responsibly and follow the Australian Government directions to help minimise the spread of Covid-19.

"We were told there were three instructions (at the beginning of coronavirus restrictions): stay at home, socially distance and use hand hygiene.

"But when I went to use a public toilet I realised we couldn't follow these basic rules unless there was soap in every facility."

Professor Short said: "I am very disappointed that Council isn't looking at doing this.

"Despite receiving promising responses from six councillors to emails I have sent, Council has decided to 'maintain the status quo', which means no soap going into these facilities.

"There is soap in the major venues, such as the Peninsula Leisure Centre at Woy Woy and Kiddies Corner at Umina Beach.

"The Peninsula Community Centre and Umina Library have soap, but what about all the smaller facilities including at our beaches?"

Professor Short said members of the group had placed soap in a number of Peninsula facilities, including at Umina and Ocean Beach surf clubs, and at Ettalong and Pearl Beach, and the campaign was ongoing.

"Sometimes the soap we leave is stolen, but more often it stays put," she said.

"It is disappointing to know Council removes the signs we leave to say where the soap has come from.

"The pandemic has brought the issue to a head, but we need to have basic public health measures at our facilities all the time.

"Other councils have soap in all their facilities - so why can't we?"

Professor Short said the group would continue its campaign into the future.

"This is an urgent basic public health matter," she said.

"It's also an OH and S matter for Council employees who use these facilities, along with tradesmen and members of the general public.

"Now we are going to see more holidaymakers in the area. We want them to feel welcome and safe on the Peninsula."

Professor Short said she was hopeful a formal motion would soon be brought to Council on the matter.

Despite a recent review, the decision was made to remain with status quo to minimise the risk of vandalism and slipping accidents, resulting from soap spilt on floors.

A staff response to a Question with Notice from Cr Kyle Mac Gregor at Council's May 25 meeting said Council staff would be developing a Public Toilet Strategy which would allow Council to look at ways to include soap in a safe manner in any of the new builds or renovations that occur.

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