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“Hold it in” at Murrumbateman

By PickedANickname - 14 July 2008 53

I am writing about a public safety issue.

On Friday July 11, my husband, my child and I were on a trip from visiting Tumut and returning to Canberra.   On the way home at about 6:30pm, my husband purchased fuel and snacks (value of about $80) from the Caltex located on the Barton Highway at Murrumbateman.

My husband then took my 3 year old son to use the toilet at this service station. The attendant said “Read the sign mate!”  when hubby asked to use the toilets.

The sign said to go to the public toilet across the street.

It was dark, the Barton Highway was very very busy on a Friday night and this person was directing people to cross because he refused to allow paying customers to use the toilets.

The toilets were in a public park, with scant lighting and over a bridge.

My husband came back to the car very upset.  I thought he had taken awhile and I was getting worried. Hubby told me about having to cross the road and how far the public toliet was. 

Neither of us is very familiar with Murrumbateman and wouldn’t have known about the toliet being that far away from the service station in a park. I personally would not have crossed that road and my husband would never do it again.

Being totally in Mamma Bear mode, I went and told the attendant that he needed to recognise how dangerous it is to send a person with a 3 year old child across that road at night.(BTW I didn’t scream or anything, I was just very to the point and assertive) The attendant said I should blame the Murrumbateman Council because if he let people use his toilets the “sewage would flow down the street”. The attendant agreed however that my complaint, about sending a man carrying a 3 year old child across the Barton Highway was dangerous, was “fair enough”.

I certainly think this is a public safety issue.  The if the owner of the Caltex is not going to let patrons use his toilet should not just tell people to go across the Barton Highway at night!  Someone is going to get hit by a car!

I think guy should be more clear about what he expects paying customers to do if they need the loo. Not just be a jerk, putting up some crap sign and then growling at people with little kids needing to use the toliets..especially at night.

So hold it in if you have to go passing through Murrumbateman.

What’s Your opinion?


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53 Responses to
“Hold it in” at Murrumbateman
peterh 2:47 pm 14 Jul 08

Blamemonkey said :

This just seems way to dramatic, A busy highway is BULLSH*T it is 50ks through Murrumbateman, and people who frequently drive through there know it is a favourite spot for the police to camp.

I am sorry for your inconvenience but seriously have a big glass of concrete and harden up.

I think that the problem is that those travellers who don’t go through murrumbateman regularly sometimes think that 50km/h is an advisory – I have had a similar experience with a vic plated driver that almost joined me in the back seat….

Blamemonkey 2:25 pm 14 Jul 08

This just seems way to dramatic, A busy highway is BULLSH*T it is 50ks through Murrumbateman, and people who frequently drive through there know it is a favourite spot for the police to camp.

I am sorry for your inconvenience but seriously have a big glass of concrete and harden up.

peterh 2:19 pm 14 Jul 08

Holden Caulfield said :

What has Yass Council got to do with it?

Keep some white paint and a paintbrush in the car and you ca paint your own emergency pedestrian crossing.

Agree that the situation is a bit of a farce though.

but with the way that the world is going, there will soon be no toilets at “service” stations, not ones that the public users can access.

I work in phillip, the public toilet in colbee court isn’t the most attractive venue after 3 or 4 coffees at a meeting at the chocolate olive, but as they have no toilet, it is the only option. (and they serve hot food at the olive)

Swaggie 2:18 pm 14 Jul 08

Who to complain to?

Caltex obviously and the franchise operator but this is the sort of trivial crap that ACA would love to do something with – Give ’em a call 🙂

Holden Caulfield 2:04 pm 14 Jul 08

What has Yass Council got to do with it?

Keep some white paint and a paintbrush in the car and you ca paint your own emergency pedestrian crossing.

Agree that the situation is a bit of a farce though.

PickedANickname 1:58 pm 14 Jul 08

I was talking to the hubby about posting and what contact I have been making. This is what he wrote…
===========================================
I couldn’t see anything but darkness so I crossed the road thinking it must be there somewhere, and was annoyed to find it well inside a dark park, across a bridge and not well marked. Trucks were screaming up and down the highway. “Son” was frightened by the noise and rush of wind as each truck rumbled past, combined with cold and darkness. There was no safe crossing point (traffic light or pedestrian crossing). Had I known in advance to use the public toilets, and of their location, I would have parked nearby, but when one stops at a service station and buys petrol, one assumes that toilets are available for use the of customers. I have never in all my life, seen a service station that did not provide this. It must be very common for people to make this assumption, only to find themselves having to cross a busy highway.
==================================

I was in the car and didn’t know my hubby was out crossing the road. It was busy and it was very dark. I would of had my boy have a tinkle on the servo if it had been me. Ok not really I wouldn’t have but I would have thought about it.

Any thoughts on who to complain to? Gone to the corporate and to Yass council.

Thumper 1:49 pm 14 Jul 08

Bushes are fine by me…

Still, PickedanNickname does have relelvant point.

SamTSeppo 1:48 pm 14 Jul 08

I agree! Crossing streets and highways is a dangerous proposition these days (I think last year more people were killed in the ACT while attempting crossings than died during the entire Second Boer War). Personally, I blame those damned greenies and their silent cars. God knows that it’s next to impossible to hear approaching traffic at night when it’s running on carbon-neutral electric motors. If only the “Lights Off For The Environment!” crowd hadn’t been elected, drivers would still be motoring at night with their headlights on.

It’s a damned travesty, it is.

p1 1:47 pm 14 Jul 08

There is at least one restaurant in Woden that has no toilets.

Yeah, but I think the malls must fall under a group category, otherwise all food court outlets would require their own…

I think I would rather go behind a bush rather than a petrol station toilet anyways.

I feel the same, however I am interested to know if the law requires them to provide facilities on site, or if ready access to the public loos is sufficient.

lenny 1:35 pm 14 Jul 08

I think I would rather go behind a bush rather than a petrol station toilet anyways.

Blamemonkey 1:29 pm 14 Jul 08

Did your husband have huge problems crossing the road with the 50 kilometre speed limit?

Or do just feel inconvenienced?

Duke 1:18 pm 14 Jul 08

There is at least one restaurant in Woden that has no toilets. Instead customers are told to use the toilets in the mall. By my estimation the toilets are around 200 metres from the restaurant.

As for pickedanickname, this was a golden opportunity for your son to learn the joys of weeing in the surrounds of nature, like under the nearest tree or against the back door of the offending Caltex.

Just between the Riotact and the Duke, I find watering the ivy of a crisp winters evening a hearty thrill indeed, especially after a big drink – water saving too peoples!

jakez 1:04 pm 14 Jul 08

I have no idea Meconium but it’s a disappointing requirement if it is.

Mike Crowther 1:03 pm 14 Jul 08

Meconium is dead right. If a NSW business sells ANY food, they are legally required to provide toilet facilities. No, ‘if’s, but’s or maybees’.

McDonalds in George Street Sydney locked their toilets to keep junkies out and were fined. I think its under a section of the planning Act but cant remember which one. It’s been about 20 years since I covered it.

Meconium 12:47 pm 14 Jul 08

Is there no legal requirement to allow paying customers to use a toilet if they need to? I thought there was, if a place served food. Surely the servo sells meat pies?

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