It’s been 18 months since the playground at Bega Park was officially opened, but kids and parents alike are still busting for a toilet to be installed on the site.
It takes around five and a half minutes to walk to the closest public toilets near Littleton Gardens – and that’s without a young child in tow.
Simon Keevers was at the park with his children Mia and Ryan on Wednesday. He said they have been to the park often since it was built.
Luckily, the Keevers live just around the corner from the park, so the lack of amenities isn’t a problem for them.
But for families that travel from further afield, an outing can be cut short by the call of nature.
Kirsty Umbers has attended children’s parties at the park for the last three weekends. She said many kids are going to the toilet in the park, and it’s not always number ones.
“When little ones have to go, they have to go, they don’t give you much time to work with,” she said.
Apart from the obvious health and hygiene issues, Ms Umbers is concerned the original proposition to install toilets in the park has fallen off the Bega Valley Shire Council’s radar.
Ms Umbers played an active role in lobbying council to improve facilities at Bega Park.
“Most towns had a decent park, but we didn’t, we just wanted something family friendly where we could go for a barbecue and have a party for the kids,” she said.
“We were in discussion with council during the planning process and the playground was marked as stage one. There were talks about a barbecue and definitely talk about toilets too.”
Council said there is no timeline of future improvements for the park following the installment of the playground.
While council stated the original design allowed for future improvements, they have not allocated any resources to the project this financial year.
When the playground was opened in March last year, council’s Anthony Basford said the Bega pool, adjacent to the park, was due for an upgrade, and dual use toilets for park and pool users were being considered by council.
No movement has been made on this plan, but council said this possibility would be looked at in future planning of the pool.
Previous toilets in Bega park were removed in 2013 because they were ageing and infrequently used, which council said did not warrant keeping them.
Ms Umbers wondered whether plumbing from these previous toilets could be reused for new toilets.
“People are forced to choose between leaving the park early, or having people use it as a bathroom,” she said.
As the days get warmer and more people use the playground, she said the problem will only get worse.
But with no action planned from council, playground users will have to hold on for quite a while longer.