Bring your own soap: Public restrooms left empty
WASH your hands has been the catch cry of the battle against COVID-19 - yet if you use the public toilets in the region, you might be stuck in a pickle.
Soap dispensers in a number of public toilets across the Lockyer Valley have either been empty in recent weeks, or completely missing, and a local health worker is worried.
But the council says vandalism and theft are to blame.
The Lockyer Valley aged-care nurse, who asked not to be named, regularly travels the region to care for the sick and vulnerable.
During her work she regularly uses public toilets and says the lack of soap is a major health hazard.
Toilets at Grantham, Lake Apex and Withcott have all been left without the basic sanitary product.
She said the lack of soap wasn't just worrying for her, but everyone in the community.
"Little kids in the parks are touching rides and everything," the nurse said.
"This is a major issue the council should address … It is basic hygiene to wash hands after going to the toilet and before eating."
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She acknowledged often vandalism was to blame, but said it was taking too long to rectify the issue - which had been occurring long before coronavirus.
"I often see council workers cleaning the toilets so why can't they fill up dispensers if they had them," she said.
Lockyer Valley Regional Council mayor Tanya Milligan acknowledged the lack of soap was an ongoing problem.
"Council is aware that soap is being used at some of our public toilets faster than usual and is refilling dispensers more often," Cr Milligan said.
"In the current climate, demand for hand soap has increased across the world and supplies are limited, resulting in occasional delays in refilling some dispensers.
"We have also seen a very disappointing increase in vandalism and stealing of soap across our public toilet network which has added a source of depletion on our resources."
The mayor said the council was doing everything it could to ensure the safety of residents but encouraged them to use hand sanitiser "when needed".
The nurse went a step further and told locals to take their own soap with them when they went out in public.