Drugs and drug paraphernalia being stored in the childrens’ toilets at the ‘roundhouse’ toilet block on the corner of Blende and Chloride Street has led to its closure on Friday afternoon.
Broken Hill City Council closed the toilet block back in May during cleaning periods after staff were forced to lock themselves in while cleaning the block to avoid harassment.
Council’s General Manager, Jay Nankevill, said on Friday afternoon the situation had continued to escalate, with police called. It had got to the point where Council has been forced to close the facility, he said.
“We had a situation today where a group of around dozen people tried to prevent staff from cleaning the toilets as there were drugs and drug paraphernalia being stored and used in the children’s toilet,” Mr Nankevill said.
“Staff were subjected to extremely aggressive verbal abuse over a prolonged period, and I’m no longer willing to send cleaning staff into that area.
“We understand a security guard assisted staff and Police were called to the incident, but no significant action was taken at the time.
“Our cleaning staff are dedicated and valued members of our team, and they should be able to feel safe when they come to work.”
Until a safer arrangement can be found, the facility will remain closed, with signage to be posted on the toilet doors to direct the public to other public rest rooms available in the city.
“We’ll look to hold discussions with Police to see how we can help solve this issue, and also investigate what further security measures can be put in place in the area,” Mr Nankevill
“We realise closing the toilet is not a long-term solution, but for now we cannot allow it to remain open when staff cannot safely service and maintain it.”