Donated dunny fits the bill

By Simon Ruppert

When the good people over at Schneider Electric spotted a plea in The Ensign from Goorambat asking for help building a toilet, they had a solution.

Or, to be more accurate, they had a spare toilet block.

And thanks to some hard work from staff and management at their Benalla site they have arranged for it to be transported and installed in Goorambat.

Anne-Marie Greenway, an integral part of the Goorambat and District Community Group, has been working to get a public toilet in town for some time.

"We had the call from somebody at Schneider to say one of the guys who works in the factory had seen our plea in the paper and was aware of an unused toilet block stored in the company's yard," Ms Greenway said.

"He spoke to the general manager and asked if it was something they could donate.

"The great news for us is that the manager agreed that it was a good idea.

"The toilet block has been sitting out the back of Schneider for some time and it was full of wasp nests, but they have cleaned it all out for us and it is virtually perfect."

The block includes male and female toilets — but some work will need to be undertaken by the Goorambat community to make it accessible for those with a disability.

"It is in too good a condition to change the interior and it would also be very costly to change the inside to include disabled access," Ms Greenway said.

"So what we're going to do is to build a disabled toilet on the side as a kind of lean-to.

"And we also need to finance and install a septic tank, but apart from that it is already 'plug-and-play' and will be ready to go after it is connected to water and electric."

The toilet block will be installed in the grounds of the Mechanics Institute Hall, on land owned by DELWP.

Ms Greenway said funding for the septic tank was all that was now required, as local volunteers had already put their hands up to install the block and add the disabled toilet.

"There will also be lots of paperwork to get sorted in terms of the planning application and things like that," Ms Greenway said.

"Alan, who is our local postmaster, has a building company over in Shepparton. He will help us out with any building work and he also has contacts at a company who supply septic tanks.

"He has got us a a very good price of around $8000, which is just over half of the list price.

"We have our GoFundMe page still running, and thanks to a generous $1000 donation from NJ Todd Funeral Directors we are now at about $3000.

"So hopefully we get some more people donate to that page but we will also need to look into grants and things like that pretty quickly as we are picking up the toilet block next week."

Last week The Ensign had a visit from a Goorambat local who had suggested that toilets at the football oval might be a solution to the problem.

However Ms Greenway said that had already been looked into and would not work for a number of reasons.

"The ones at the oval are about 1.5km from the silos and are not cleaned very regularly," Ms Greenwood said.

"There is a lady who cleans them before footy games, but even if she could clean them more often we have an issue in that they belong to the club and are on their land.

"If someone wanted to use them on a Saturday when a game is on they would have to pay $10 entry to the game first.

"So we are very happy that we have the block from Schneider now.''