Yolla is a small rural village approximately 20km south of Wynyard. The township is located on the junction of Mount Hicks Road and the Murchison Highway. In 2016, the Australian Bureau of Statistics recorded 316 people living in Yolla and 149 private dwellings. The main township includes a school, general store, pharmacy, recreation ground and other businesses and assets.
Council has received community feedback suggesting that a public toilet is desired within Yolla. The closest public toilet to Yolla is within the Somerset CBD which is approximately 17 minutes’ drive by car. If travelling south past Yolla, the next closest toilet is another 27 minutes’ drive and located at the Hellyer Gorge Rest Stop. This means that at a minimum, travellers heading south from Somerset will need to travel at least 44 minutes before reaching a toilet, depending on the route chosen.
Both the Murchison Highway and Mount Hicks Road are common routes for trucks, visitors and local traffic. There are anecdotal reports that visitors often stop in at the general store to ask for access to a public toilet.
Council’s adopted Open Space, Sport and Recreation Plan 2017-2027 (OSSR) and its associated Public Toilets Issues Paper provides insights, guidelines and recommendations to improve Council’s existing public toilet portfolio. Specifically, it recommends to:
Negotiate with a local business to provide a public toilet or open the toilet in the recreation ground for community use.
In March 2021, Council noted the findings of an Options Review Paper which presented two preferred locations for the public toilet (Yolla General Store and Yolla Recreation Ground), for further exploration. Since this time, Council officers have engaged a consultant to provide technical advice on the feasibility of these sites and spoken with relevant stakeholders. The wastewater assessment showed substantial technical issues with one of the preferred locations and significant stakeholder concerns were raised in relation to the second location. Given these results, Council determined in June 2022 to explore alternative locations before deciding the location for the public toilet.
More information is available in the excerpt from the August Council Agenda below: