Council responds to request for soap dispensers in all public toilets


Cheryl was concerned about the hygiene of public toilets. She said some of the new and upgraded toilets in her area did not have soap dispensers. We asked the local Council if they would consider installing soap dispensers. They said that – due to the COVID-19 pandemic – they had decided to install soap dispensers in all public toilets. We let Cheryl know of the Council’s decision.

What was the case?

In early 2020, Hobsons Bay Council did not provide soap with some public toilets for environmental reasons. This is because the basins connect to storm water drains which run into the bay.

Cheryl told us she understood the need to protect the environment. But she believed hygiene should come first, particularly to prevent COVID-19 spreading. She had called the Council, but felt the officer she spoke to prioritised the environment above public hygiene.

Cheryl then complained to us.

Our enquiries

We made enquiries with the Council and asked them to explain their decision not to install soap dispensers. We asked if they would re-consider their decision, in light of COVID-19.


The Council confirmed that soap dispensers were not initially installed at the particular public toilets Cheryl was concerned about, for environmental reasons. They said that when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, they had decided to install soap dispensers in all public toilets across their municipality. They ordered the dispensers and said they would be installed as soon as they were delivered.