Ballarat Public Toilet Strategy

Developing a Strategy to make public toilets safer and more inclusive in Ballarat

The City of Ballarat
Ballarat LGA
2022 - 2023

The Challenge

Often under-acknowledged, public toilets are a basic human need and are an essential piece of community infrastructure that contributes to the health and wellbeing of residents, workers and visitors. They also greatly enhance people’s enjoyment of public places and spaces. The City of Ballarat has an ageing network of public toilets, many of which are not accessible, poorly designed and in the wrong locations. Council needed a Strategy to direct decision making around future investment and capital works to improve its network of facilities, to meet community needs and expectations.

CoFutures was engaged to develop a new Public Toilet Strategy for the Ballarat municipality which would help to guide the renewal, upgrade and provision of new facilities.

What We Did

  • Two comprehensive rounds of community engagement to gather local knowledge, collect feedback about community preferences and identify issues and provisional gaps.
  • Targeted stakeholder engagement with key advisory groups and priority demographic cohorts including women, LGBTQIA+, First Nations people, CALD, families and carers, children and people with disabilities.
  • Workshops, meetings and presentations with City of Ballarat Councillors, internal stakeholders and facility managers.
  • A review of best-practice and leading innovations with regard to public toilet planning, design and management.
  • Created an animated explainer video to communicate the importance of planning for public toilets.  
  • Developed a 10-year capital works plan to guide future investment, upgrades and renewals.
  • Developed a list of strategic and operational actions to improve the design, siting, location and accessibility of existing and new public toilets.
  • Designed a service and typology guide informed by community and stakeholder needs and expectations.
  • Provided decision making frameworks to guide future refurbishment, renewal and installation of public toilets across Ballarat.


In December 2023, the Ballarat Public Toilet Strategy was unanimously adopted by Council. The Strategy has been commended for its wide-reaching and innovative engagement and evidence- based approach. It sets out a vision to provide ‘public toilets for everyone’ and alongside capital and operational actions, advocates for improved accessibility and higher quality design to meet diverse community needs.