The former cleaners of Gympie’s public toilets say they have never found needles or sharps in the soap.
The former cleaners of Gympie’s public toilets say they have never found needles or sharps in the soap. Tanya Easterby

No needles in the soap in eight years

THE cleaners who previously held the contract for cleaning public toilets in Gympie and its immediate surrounds said yesterday they had not once found sharps or needles in the soap they provided for public use.

Kerry Clutterbuck and her business partner Roy Whaite have cleaned all the public toilets in Gympie for the past eight years, and in the Mary Valley for the past 11 years.

The couple is taking a hiatus after the Gympie Regional Council did not renew the contract this year with their cleaning business, U Asked 4 It.

Several days after the new contractors took over, the state of the public toilets in Mary St came under fire for being dirty and having no toilet paper or soap.

Mayor Ron Dyne said then that the council had stopped providing soap for people to wash their hands at public toilets in the region because sharps and used needles were being left in the bars of soap and, once they were removed, in the soap on tap nozzles.

But Ms Clutterbuck said yesterday she had never once witnessed this in Gympie or the Mary Valley.

She said her company had provided the bars of soap and soap on tap as part of their contract, but had been told by Gympie Regional Council staff two months ago to stop putting soap in the toilets because of concerns that somebody might, at some stage, leave glass or needles in the soap.

The council was afraid that that might happen, but it had never in happened, Ms Clutterbuck said.

"We saw needles in the toilets and had to get them out. We were very lucky we never got a needle stick injury or hepatitis." Ms Clutterbuck said she had no "sour grapes" about losing the contract and that she wished the new contractors all the best.

"It was time for us to go," she said.

"We are having a break now. We worked seven days a week for eight years."

Gympie Times


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