What will $470,000 buy you in the Blue Mountains?
There’s the four bedroom, two bathroom property in Winmalee complete with reverse cycle air conditioning and a workshop; the renovated 1920’s weatherboard with three bedrooms and the “wow factor” in Katoomba; the Leura three bedder with wraparound verandah on 710sqm; a three bedder with studio in Blaxland and even a modern four bedder with high ceilings in Valley Heights. Many of these homes come with $20,000 in spare change for new furniture.
But if you are Blue Mountains City Council $470,000 is the bill you will be paying for the new architect-designed public toilets about to adorn the mall in Leura.
Apart from a donation of $20,000 towards the bill from the Leura Village Association the fee will cover knocking down the ageing toilet and building 11 toilets and four urinals — eight for the women (one with a baby change table) and three for the men.
Blue Mountains Mayor Daniel Myles defended the cost of the project saying it was in “keeping with the character and quality of the Leura village, and as a tourism destination, able to meet the needs of the many out of town visitors the village receives daily”.
The toilets would “provide a public toilet amenity of a high standard to the community of Leura, which will enhance the retail shopping precinct” he said.
Construction is due to start soon, with the project expected to be completed by late 2012 or early 2013, depending on the weather.
A council spokeswoman said the toilets were “one of the largest in the LGA (Local Government Area) due to high peak demand generated from tourists, the busy shopping precinct and local residents . . . double the capacity of the existing”.
“Rationale for the new toilet facility is to increase the capacity of the toilets to cope with the demand, renew the existing asset and cater for high public demand from both local residents and high tourist numbers, often generated by coach arrivals.”
Cranebrook Constructions is building the masonry and steel toilets using environmentally-sustainable building technologies.The new-look toilets don’t feature images of Leura on the outside but have images “representative of the deciduous trees in Leura that contribute to the seasonal flavour of the much loved Leura village”, the spokeswoman added.
She said smaller toilets were built in Lawson in 2010 for $290,000 and in 2012 at Hazelbrook for $300,000.
One property source said it sounded like the money was being “flushed away” by council.
At the time of going to press, the Gazette was still waiting for information from council about where toilet-users would go between the knock-down and re-build.