We don't often talk about the needs we all have to face every day. Going to the toilet is a universal need for everyone and when we need to go, it's best if there's as few obstacles to relief.
As a society, we've opted to provide public facilities for people to use when they need to. Unfortunately, if you are a person with a disability and want to use the public toilets in Memorial Park or CWA Park, there's an unexpected impediment: locked doors.
There's a very good reason for those locked doors, it keeps the vandals out.
It would be nice if we didn't have the deal with the consequences of vandals, whether it's clogging the plumbing, destroying the porcelain or even just making a mess - it's a costly fix.
Griffith City Council haven't given us figures on how much they spend to repair the damage done by vandals, but it's probably safe it would be a serious number.
We all want council to spend money wisely and by finding ways to eliminate or reduce the incidences of vandalism they are doing exactly that. As they say, prevention is better than the cure.
For the disabled toilets on Banna Avenue, which are locked 24 hours a day, council has installed the Master Locksmiths Access Key (MLAK) system which means if you have a key, you can unlock any door which is compatible.
It's a smart and sensible way to keep facilities accessible, and safe from vandals. That the key can also be used at any other facility using the same key around the nation is a great idea.
However, learning about this system of locks and keys when you need to go to the toilet is the last thing that anyone needs, or wants.
The problem comes down to the fact that if we have to lock one set of toilet doors for fear of vandals, why aren't all the public toilets locked?
Why aren't the ambulant toilets also using the MLAK system? Surely Griffith City Council spends money keeping these facilities clean and accessible as well.
They have a security firm which locks the ambulant toilets at dusk, so why not the same for the disabled toilet?
At the moment, there's not even a sign to tell people that the MLAK system is in use, or how or where you might get a key from.
There's clearly room for improvement in how Griffith City Council manages these public facilities.