Campaigning for toilets at the Kidman Way rest area between Cobar and Bourke has finally paid off, with a new $160,000 amenities block now open.
Located 98 kilometres north of Cobar, the facility is the only one along a 161-kilometre stretch to have two unisex and accessible toilets.
A lack of adequate facilities, especially toilets, at many rest areas has been an ongoing problem for many truckies. In particular, a protest and petition pushing for toilets at the new Gatton decoupling facility has made headlines recently.
“There are already three truck stops between Cobar and Bourke, but none of them have bathroom facilities, and residents of both towns have strongly campaigned for additional amenities at the halfway point,” said Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole.
“Leading the charge on this cause was the legendary former Cobar Shire Mayor Lilliane Brady, with the full support of Bourke Shire Mayor, Cr Barry Hollman.
“Sadly, Lilliane is no longer with us, but I’m so pleased her vision to build an amenities block for locals, the elderly, tourists and the freight industry driving between Cobar and Bourke has been realised for the countless people she championed so hard for.”
Member of the Legislative Council Sam Farraway said the new amenities block would be appreciated by all motorists, with about 200 vehicles travelling along this road every day.
“The 6.3-metre by 4.7-metre building features two cubicles with a non-potable water tank located behind the toilet block to service the hand basins only, along with a picnic table and shelter,” Farraway said.
“This functional amenities block will be appreciated by locals, the freight industry, and also by the growing number of tourists visiting the area, particularly the elderly.
“Being able to move quickly and build this facility in just under three weeks, while employing four workers and listening to the concerns of both towns, is an achievement we’re proud of.”
Cobar Shire Council Mayor Peter Abbott said he was grateful for the NSW government’s funding of the facility.
“This rest stop is the realisation of a long-held dream for the community, so we are extremely happy to see it come to fruition and wish to express our sincere thanks to Transport for NSW and the state government,” Abbott said.
Bourke Shire Council Mayor Barry Hollman added, “With international travel restrictions still in place, the Far North West of the state is being discovered by more and more tourists and the provision of these amenities to assist everyone travelling through this area is very much appreciated.
“I particularly wish to thank Minister Paul Toole, not just for the funding for this project, but for the funding provided for many regional roads in the western part of NSW. It has made a significant difference to the lives of so many people and his contribution to the west is recognised.”