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Council Facilities to Reopen to Assist Transport Industry

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30 April 2020

Truck drivers will have better access to public restrooms in the Dubbo Region during the Covid-19 pandemic with Dubbo Regional Council reopening two facilities.

Council made the difficult decision to close most facilities throughout the pandemic, including public amenities, but kept the Church Street restrooms open for the community. Based on feedback from the trucking industry, the decision has now been made to reopen other locations.

From Wednesday, 29 April, 2020, the Ollie Robins restrooms on Bligh Street and the Elston Park restrooms on Cobra Street have been made available. They will be open from 7am until 6pm daily, with a three-hourly deep cleansing protocol in place to ensure public safety.

Recognising the critical work truck drivers are doing in keeping communities going throughout the pandemic, Mayor of the Dubbo Region Ben Shields said it was an easy decision to reopen additional restrooms.

“Council has listened to the concerns of the transport industry on this issue and it is important we make restrooms available for truck drivers. They have an important role to play in ensuring our region gets through the pandemic and we need to assist them with that,” Councillor Shields said.

“Council has been extremely proactive in our role to minimise the risk of contamination including by closing public toilets but I feel with increased cleaning of these amenities in central locations, we can provide transport workers and others who travel with a place to safely use bathroom facilities.”

Australian Trucking Association CEO Ben Maguire thanked Mayor Shields his swift response and action in ensuring Australia’s hardworking truck drivers have access the appropriate facilities needed to complete their vital job.

“Trucking provides a critical role in keeping local communities supplied and enabling economic activity. For transport and logistics workers, access to toilets is a fundamental human right,” Mr Maguire said.

“Dubbo and the surrounding region are an important intersection of key freight routes, accessed by truck drivers as they deliver essential goods to communities across the country.

“We thank Dubbo Regional Council for their support and will continue to advocate in the best interests of drivers facing similar challenges elsewhere,” he said.

Director of Dubbo Transport Company Tippings Transport, Sally Tipping, says the move to open the additional facilities is an extremely positive result. 

“We have all struggled to come to terms with the upheaval and unknown associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Truck drivers do not have the option of working from home, instead going about their workday as best as they can,” Ms Tipping said.

“On behalf of myself and, more importantly, all the truckies on the roads doing their jobs but finding it difficult to access basic facilities – thank you,” she said.

Councillor Shields said the ATA had also drawn Council’s attention to a lack of amenities and restrooms, despite Dubbo being on the intersection of three major highways. He said Council would advocate for funding for more facilities to assist the transport industry.

“The lack of amenities in our region is an issue that is bigger than the current pandemic and our Council will be very happy to work with the ATA and governments to address this. The ATA has offered to support Council in seeking funding opportunities and I welcome that,” Councillor Shields said.