TOILET TALK: Push to make M’boro loo lovely
"HI DANIEL. Just had the occasion to use the City Hall ladies' toilet and again thought 'What a shame'. It's 1950s dowdy. It would take so little to brighten it up with clever painting effects.
"Maybe fresh flowers and music would be stretching it a bit but it's a shabby look for a facility used frequently by our growing tourist market."
That email to city division councillor Daniel Sanderson, accompanied by a photo of the dingy dunny, brought a prompt response to say the toilet would be painted.
Now the suggestion has grown from a lick of paint into an ambitious aim to create the finest ladies' loo in Australia.
I returned from Japan where bidet functions are almost standard on toilets: maybe we could add cleansing squirts to the loos. Japan also has lots of baby seats in the stalls so new mums have somewhere to park the baby when nature calls.
Community champions Kylie Nitz of street party fame and Nan Ott, our RV Friendly campaigner, were quickly on board to get the community involved in what could be a quirky addition to Maryborough's colourful attractions.
Kylie's work involves care for the elderly of Maryborough. She said they often needed to use the downtown loo and would love a cuter comfort stop. Nan thought the RV travellers would spread the word about our divine dunny around Australia.
A little avalanche of enthusiasm has grown to a fun campaign aimed at taking the opportunity to turn dreary into delight.
Maryborough's time cannon is aimed each Thursday at the toilets beside the town hall green and they are frequently used by visitors. What a shame, I told a couple of councillors. The Fraser Coast Regional Council had spent so much money on beautifying the heritage heart but in the centre of it was a crappy dunny.
Politicians and powerful people were pinned down. Mayor George and Deputy Darren, like Daniel, took a step back when the lid was raised on the ladies' loo but nodded nervously. With a characteristic sidelong glance, George said he was sure Darren would be able to handle it.
Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders' red shirt makes him an easy target at market day. He chuckled at the prospect of flushing a little money from the State Government coffers to help create the finest loo in Australia.
His wife Jenny turned up as I described the divine dunny.
"I would even settle for less than the fresh flowers and music," I told her solemnly. No way, she said eagerly. Hang in for the blooms and tunes.
An email trail brought support from councillors Paul Truscott and Anne Maddern and elicited a Pinterest page of divine dunny products.
Anne loved the idea of the baby seat to help mothers who now juggled with babies while trying to use the toilet.
"Fellows try that exercise with a 10kg bag of groceries and I don't mean you can use the standing up option!" she said.
I said the men's toilet would need to be done too but others were better equipped to make suggestions there.
Paul thought Daniel should use his discretionary fund to provide the men with a gold pedestal (the Trump option was wiped) but it seems that discretionary funds are not allowed to go into toilets.
Brace yourself for toilet humour banter in the coming months as the lovely loo plans develop.