Though the Kidman Way rest area finally has new toilets, some were left baffled by the hefty $160k price tag. We asked Transport for NSW where the money was spent.
The Kidman Way rest area sits 98 kilometres north of Cobar and is the only one along a 161-kilometre stretch to have two unisex and accessible toilets.
“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.
The upgrade consists of a 6.3 by 4.7 metre building complete with two cubicles, with a non-potable water tank behind the toilet block to service the hand basins only. There is also a picnic table and shelter.
When we shared the news on our Facebook page, many of those who commented were left wondering where the $160k was spent.
“How much? Also could they only fit 2 toilets in that size shed? Great that they are building these but value for money is not there,” wrote Steven Edmunds.
Shirley Deffert shared the same sentiment, “$160,000 What!!! Are you kidding. Could almost build a whole house for that. Rip off.”
Big Rigs put the question of where the money had been spent to Minister Toole’s office. “Transport for NSW provided almost $160,000 from maintenance funding to design and build the new rest area facility, about halfway between Cobar and Bourke, in response to requests from the local communities,” said a Transport for NSW spokesperson.
“Of this total cost, the construction of the restroom, waste collection well, water tank, shade shelter and picnic table comprised more than $130,000, with the remainder of the funding allocated to planning and design work, as well as traffic management by Bourke Shire Council during construction.”
Signage is due to be installed at the rest area soon, following endorsement by both Bourke and Cobar Shire Councils to name the rest area ‘Curraweena Rest Area’.
Cobar Shire Council mayor Peter Abbott said he was grateful for the funding to build 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,” he said.