City centre toilets closed to protect cleaners

Discarded needles and aggressive behaviour aimed at cleaning staff will see public toilets on the corner of Blende and Chloride Streets closed during cleaning times to protect staff.

There have been 40 incidences of discarded needles or aggressive behaviour toward staff in the last 30 days, says Broken Hill City Council, with the majority of those incidents taking place at the public toilets.

The toilets will now be locked between 7am and 8am and 12.30pm to 1pm from Monday to Friday and 9am to 10am on the weekends.

“The toilets need to be locked during cleaning to provide a safe and secure environment for staff to undertake their work, which generally involves the removal of contaminated materials and sharps on a daily basis,” Broken Hill City Council General Manager Jay Nankivell said on Friday.

“We ordinarily aim to keep the toilets open during cleaning for public convenience, but unfortunately, things have reached a stage where we need to take extra precautionary measures to protect staff as they carry out their work.”

Mr Nankivell also gave an update on the issue of numerous discarded needles being found across the CBD, saying discussions were underway to find a solution.

“We met with the Far West Local Health District (FWLHD) recently. We’ve discussed the possibility of removing the clean sharps dispensers from the FWLHD building on the corner of Chloride St and Crystal Lane.

“It’s something the FWLHD is looking into, and while we understand it’s not a solution to the problem of drug use, we believe it would alleviate the issue of discarded needles littering the busiest area of the city.”

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