The conversation

Between 10 May and 6 June 2021, we asked local residents and park users to share their views on a proposal to install a public toilet on the perimeter of the park at the corner of Haines Street and Macaulay Road.

Gathering insights

We communicated with over 2000 households surrounding Gardiner Reserve. We also invited other park users to get involved through on-site signage and the Participate Melbourne e-newsletter.

In total, we reached over 8650 people and recorded 406 views.


e-newsletters sent


letters sent


website visitors


responses received

Who we heard from

Online survey participants were asked two questions about their connection to Gardiner Reserve and how frequently they visit. Of those that replied:

  • almost 20 per cent live or work immediately opposite Gardiner Reserve
  • seventy-two per cent live or work in North Melbourne
  • nearly 20 percent visit Gardiner Reserve daily
  • fifty-five per cent visit at least once a week.

What we heard

Over 92 per cent of respondents supported the public toilet proposal.

We heard:

  • Introducing a public toilet in this location would enhance the amenity for the broader neighbourhood, as there are no other public toilets nearby.
  • Park users, particularly families with young children, would be able to enjoy longer park visits if there were toilet facilities.
  • It would be more practical and functional for groups to plan social events at the BBQ and picnic areas if there were a toilet.
  • The proposed location of the toilet doesn’t detract from the park's overall appeal.

Almost 7.5 per cent did not support the proposal or were unsure.

We heard:

  • The introduction of a public toilet risks attracting antisocial behaviour, which could be disruptive and unsafe.
  • The ‘look’ and location of the proposed toilet is unappealing, due to the material design and pathway orientation.
  • Regular cleaning and consistent maintenance of public toilet facilities is essential and this is not something we have confidence will happen.
  • Car parking around the Reserve can be challenging, and this might be exacerbated by increased visitation expected from additional public facilities.

Further details are available in the Community Engagement Summary below.


Thank you to everyone who has shared their views on this proposal. We have read each comment submitted and as a result, believe that we have a stronger understanding of the Gardiner Reserve community and the importance of this park to the neighbourhood.

We’re thrilled to hear the wide range of purposes this green space plays in your lives.

Given the overwhelming community support for installing a public toilet at Gardiner Reserve, we intend to proceed with the project.

Next steps

We anticipate construction will commence towards the end of 2021 or early 2022.