By Mitchell Clarke
The Rotary Club of Pakenham is busting for a toilet to be built at Rotary Park, and Cardinia Shire Council has confirmed they no longer have to hold on for answers.
During Monday 15 July’s council meeting, council officers confirmed they will continue to liaise with the Rotary of Pakenham to assist in the installation of the proposed toilet facility.
Councillor Michael Schilling said the reason behind this “critical piece of infrastructure” may not be immediately obvious to a person who isn’t involved with the area around Toomuc Reserve.
“When you consider the increased usage for the reserve and surrounding areas with more leisurely activities such as dog walking groups, you begin to see the need for new modern state-of the art toilet facilities,” Cr Schilling said.
“The closest public toilet to that area is on Toomuc Reserve between the two ovals, and not only is it out of the way, that toilet is dreadful in every sense and that’s probably another piece of work that council need to look into.”
Councillor Brett Owen echoed his colleague, stating that the lack of facilities was a problem that families are experiencing as they continue to use the reserve.
“We want people to spend a lot of time at this reserve but at the moment it’s limited, if they need to use the (toilet) facility they have to leave,” Cr Owen said.
“By investing in this public toilet, it will ensure that people can stay longer.”
A petition with over 700 signatures was sent to council requesting they funded the project entirely.
“This wasn’t on council’s radar, this is something that we hadn’t considered and it’s only though the ongoing advocacy of the local Rotary group and community members that we can actually provide a positive response to the petition,” Cr Schilling said.
But as reported by the Gazette during the 2019 federal election campaign, Member for Latrobe Jason Wood already committed $180,000 to fund the proposed toilet at the park, with council set to splurge $26,000 towards costs relating to connecting the toilet.
But there’s no official date on when Mr Wood will deliver the dunny.
Jason Wood confirmed the project will be funded under the Community Development Grants (CDG) Program.
“Delivery arrangements are currently being finalised and it is expected the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development will contact the funding proponent shortly to begin the process to deliver on this commitment,” Mr Wood said.
“In terms of delivery timeframes, CDG funding will be available for projects that are scheduled for completion and final payment before 30 June 2026.
“Projects identified for funding under this program are expected to be tender-ready with the project scoped, costed and planned sufficiently, including identifying additional funding requirements, prior to the project being considered for funding.”