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Roadhouses face foul play

Thursday, 15th January, 2015

Travellers aren’t being respectful of roadhouses in the region. Travellers aren’t being respectful of roadhouses in the region.

The roadhouse dunny gets a workout over the festive season, but some travellers are not so jolly about their experience in the outback.

The Coombah Roadhouse on the Silver City Highway between Broken Hill and Wentworth has been having a lot of trouble lately.

Staff told the BDT they had trouble with people not using the toilets correctly.

They are currently renovating the toilets, and staff toilets are available for customers to use.

“We have copped abuse and flack for it,” one staff member said. “It costs us a lot of money to run pumps for the water.

“We are always treated badly, but over Christmas it has been worse.

“A lot of the people come from Broken Hill.”

The roadhouse suffers from a lot of vandalism.

“We are not required by law to have toilets - we do it for the comfort of our customers.

“People think we are a public toilet with a retail store attached - but we aren’t.”

There is a rest area, 12 kilometres away from Coombah that can be utilised free of charge.

Meanwhile, travellers can be responsible according to the owner of the Little Topar Roadhouse, Colin Harvey.

The roadhouse is located on the Barrier Highway, 119 km west of Wilcannia and 77 km east of Broken Hill. 

Mr Harvey said most travellers are “pretty respectful”.

“We haven’t had any problems, if we do it’s about two people out of 1,000,” he said.

“I’ve been here 25 years and we have had problems but everything has come good.”

Mr Harvey said when people complained about locked toilets, he directed them across the road to the rest stop.

Owner of the Emmdale Roadhouse, Virginia Beard said she found most of her customers were well-behaved.

“Everyone is pretty well-behaved, except if they want fuel at night,” she said.

“Some people beep their horn and try to wake me, even if I’m shut.”

Ms Beard said people also tried to use her toilets without being paying customers.

“They don’t realise that I have to go and turn on the pump for the water,” she said.

“We don’t have Council supplying our water.

“I wish people would be considerate and appreciative.

“(But) not everyone is like that ... we do have some good ones.”

Emmdale is located on the Barrier Highway, 170 km west of Cobar and 100 km East of Wilcannia.

Packsaddle Roadhouse owner Mia Degoumois said she had very little trouble.

“People often comment about how clean our facilities are,” she said.

“I think they also do realise that by supporting us, it is keeping the toilet here.

“There will always be people who want something for nothing - but it costs money to run everything.”

Packsaddle Roadhouse provides the only toilet facility before Milparinka.

“I don’t think people realise the big picture,” Ms Degoumois said.

“If you support the business, they can continue to run.”

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