Report to be made into Break O'Day public access parenting rooms

An investigation into the need for public access parenting rooms for the Break O’Day municipality will take place on the state’s East Coast.

Break O’Day councillor Hannah Rubenach-Quinn said while away from home, it could be difficult to manage the needs of babies and young children in a “safe, warm, quiet and comfortable space.”

A motion put forth by Cr Rubenach-Quinn called for a report into the need level for public access parenting rooms for the region.

The motion passed, with all councillors except councillor John Tucker in support of the report being made.

“Although some of our public toilets now have change tables, these are often cold and do not accommodate the other needs such as breastfeeding and floor play space,” Cr Rubenach-Quinn said.

“During open hours the Break O' Day Child and Family Centre provides a great space at St Helens, and other places such as the St Marys Hub4Health Rooms will allow for play space [and] breastfeeding.”

Councillor Margaret Osborne OAM said the St Helens RSL had a parenting room with change tables in the toilets, but that it was not a completely separate room.

“We have discussed this before in regards to different locations,” Cr Osborne said.

Councillor John Tucker said it was not an issue for the council.

“We don’t have the funds for this sort of thing,” he said.

“This is a state government issue and needs to be taken up with them.

“There are mothers groups organised through the Department of Health and Human Services and they talk about different areas where they can get access.”

Councillor Kylie Wright said she “very much” supported a report being made.

“There are a lot of mothers in our local area as well as mothers coming from out of town,” Cr Wright said.

“We have a senior citizens room, surely we could cater for all and have some parenting facilities.”

Mayor Mick Tucker said the “report is to be done”.

“Discussions should be held with the Department of Health and Human Services,” he said.

Cr Rubenach-Quinn said it was “very important” to have more than one change room.

“There needs to be somewhere that you can get out and stretch legs, and the baby can just lay on the floor and have a stretch and play and roll around safe and comfortably,” Cr Rubenach-Quinn said.