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Whatever happened to Canberra’s space-age self-cleaning toilets?

By poptop - 11 January 2009 38

[First filed: January 10, 2009 @ 17:52]

I recall in the dim past the great excitement surrounding Canberra getting an array of the Exceloo

When they first arrived thay had:

    – Automatic doors
    – Electronic Basin Unit
    – No Touch Flushing
    – Electronic Toilet Tissue Dispenser
    – Movement Sensor
    – Automated Systems
    – Wash Cycle
    – Electromagnetic Locking
    – Music and Voice Messages
    – Moulded fibreglass ceilings
    – Flooring grade ceramic tiles on walls
    – Graffiti resistant walls
    – Non-slip, moisture resistant flooring.
    – Aluminium or stainless steel doors.

They were really nifty – rather like going to the toilet on the Starship Enterprise.

My kids grew and my finegrained knowledge of almost every public toilet in the ACT fell away.

Just yesterday, I wandered past the Exceloos at Kinston. It was like seeing the rotting hulk of a once fine sailing ship. All the automagic things are long gone, all the civilised refinements removed and clunky ‘make-do fixes’ have been installed.

(more photos below)

What’s Your opinion?


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38 Responses to
Whatever happened to Canberra’s space-age self-cleaning toilets?
DJ 12:11 pm 11 Jan 09

R. Slicker said :

Many people might not know that these toilets were originally developed with the main aim of stopping men using them for sex. They were sold to councils and instrumentalities around Australia (including Brendan Smyth as Minister for Urban Services at the time) with the promise that they were “gay-proof”. What a pity a pathetic exercise in homophobia has now created a whole new set of problems.

Interesting claim but sounds like bollocks… your evidence?

Madman 10:34 am 11 Jan 09

They have these loos in… Campbelltown… and the council manages to keep them working and in good condition besides having a very large crime population.

R. Slicker 10:32 am 11 Jan 09

Many people might not know that these toilets were originally developed with the main aim of stopping men using them for sex. They were sold to councils and instrumentalities around Australia (including Brendan Smyth as Minister for Urban Services at the time) with the promise that they were “gay-proof”. What a pity a pathetic exercise in homophobia has now created a whole new set of problems.

asher 9:46 am 11 Jan 09

at the end of the day, it’s a public toilet. to quote sentiment popular film Minority Report – “there’s no escaping your destiny”

shiny flu 7:44 am 11 Jan 09

The problem? Not following what every other city does.

As we all know Canberra (whether one views it as good or bad) has tight restrictions on public advertising. Most other cities contract the building and maintenance of the ‘super-loos’ to a private company that in return get the side of said ‘super-loos’ for some advertising etc.

Although we now have some rather shiny-useless-when-there’s-a-wind bus shelters born from the aforementioned concept, I’m the Vogons are thinking very hard about our super-poo-loos.

realityskin 3:43 am 11 Jan 09

seriously…….

MWF 11:58 pm 10 Jan 09

They used to play music, really. It was like that weird Japanese elevator music but sort of sci-fi. I did not believe my other half when he came back to us in the park after using one. So, the kids and I all traipsed up to the loos to have a listen, that is when the kids fell in love with the funky toilets.

Now the kids (boys thankfully) just pee on a tree. When you have to wade through the urine and there is no music, all the toilet fun is gone.

Granny 10:57 pm 10 Jan 09

I have always found them vaguely scary, so I have hardly ever used them.

Pandy 10:50 pm 10 Jan 09

Toilets that smell like piss? Thats what you get when wimmin hover: no respect for others.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 10:41 pm 10 Jan 09

Public toilets that smell like piss?!?!? This is a sick, sick world.

hrazor 10:34 pm 10 Jan 09

OMG Music? i’ve used a few of them i never knew that they had music in them, all the ones that i have been in in the civic area have no music in them

bubzie 9:52 pm 10 Jan 09

The one in tuggeranong town park is like that too..grafittied, no music, and smells like piss.

canberra towie 8:31 pm 10 Jan 09

The ones next to the sea scouts in Tuggeranong are no better. They have been forgotten about by everyone except the vandals !
And now the government has to send a worker every morning and night time to lock them to stop the vandals from destroying them !!

And they smell like urine

MWF 6:36 pm 10 Jan 09

Sigh, yes. When my children were smaller they were desperately in love with the funky toilets at the Gordon adventure park. That was until some idiot blew one up with a home made bomb one night. Now the funky toilets don’t play any music at all. And they smell like urine.

johnboy 6:10 pm 10 Jan 09

complexity is rarely viable in un-supervised systems in the long term.

the brick sh*thouse didn’t become proverbial for no reason and bears consideration in this context.

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