By Rowan Forster
BEACONSFIELD train commuters languishing without public toilets have reportedly been told to “go before they leave home” by the State Government.
It comes after a reveller was fined $500 by Protective Service Officers near Kenilworth Avenue for “threatening” and “riotous” behaviour after he urinated behind a tree.
The station – situated in one of Melbourne’s burgeoning growth corridors – is unmanned, and therefore not eligible for a restroom.
According to Gembrook MP Brad Battin, the Andrews Government contradicted that policy when it installed toilets at Hallam Station, coincidentally in a Labor-held seat.
“One of their responses was, ‘you should obviously go before you go down to the train station or get off at a premium station’” he said.
“Yet again we saw the member for Narre Warren North and the member for Narre Warren South celebrating and letting off balloons outside the new toilet at Hallam Railway Station.
“So in a Labor-held seat, we can put a toilet at an unmanned railway station, (but) in Beaconsfield, which is a Liberal-held seat, we cannot do that.”
Mr Battin described it as a failure and unfair to the Beaconsfield community.
According to Public Transport Victoria data released in 2015, approximately 250,000 commuters boarded or departed at Beaconsfield per annum.
It is believed that figure could be as much as 30 per cent higher to date.
The reveller nabbed for public urination, who did not want to be identified to preserve his reputation, said the lack of public toilets was especially problematic given the current “tumultuous” service on the Pakenham-Cranbourne line.
“I’ve been stuck at Beaconsfield waiting for up to an hour a number of times, so it’s a bit rich to expect us to just hold it in,” he said.
“It seems very unfair that some stations are shown favouritism and others just miss out.”
Across Melbourne, 129 of 218 stations have toilet facilities – many of which are not recognised as “premium stations”.
Metro said the installation of toilets is problematic at unstaffed stations because toilets are “regularly and severely” vandalised.