The lack of toilets at the new Gatton decoupling facility has sparked a lot of heat recently, with the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) pointing the finger at the University of Queensland for the decision.
“The decision to omit toilets from the facility was due to the University of Queensland objecting to the biosecurity risk of human waste or litter being left at the site, which may impact their agricultural research programs,” said a TMR spokesperson, adding that no toilets will be installed at the site in the future.
The toilet issue at Gatton has been making headlines, largely due to a passionate local named Wes Walker who has been at the site with his sign for the past 11 days straight, all day, every day, from 8am until 6pm. Images of him with his large hand-written sign – and now some with his BYO toilet too – have gone viral on social media.
He’s started a petition, which can be signed at the site in Gatton or online by clicking here.
TMR also said that the site was never supposed to be a rest area. “The purpose of the Gatton Heavy Vehicle Decoupling Facility (GHVDF) is to provide a safe area for heavy vehicle drivers to reconfigure their combinations to conform to national regulations before continuing their journey,” it said in a statement.
“We are actively discouraging the use of GHVDF as a rest area as it is not suitable due to surrounding land uses.”
It’s solution? Just use one of the two rest areas nearby.
“Eastbound traffic can use the nearby BP service station offering commercial facilities to drivers, which is approximately three kilometres east of the Gatton facility,” said TMR.
“Westbound traffic can use the Gatton Bypass Rest Area which provides a toilet, sheltered picnic tables and rubbish bins, approximately 8.5 kilometres west of Gatton.”
TMR added that the westbound rest area is scheduled for upgrades to the toilet and shade facilities before the end of this month. It also “investigating installing additional signs in the vicinity of the facility to advise of the nearby facilities.”
Another option, it says, is “heavy vehicle drivers can decouple at the Charlton Heavy Vehicle Decoupling Facility which has toilets, sheltered picnic tables and rubbish bins.”