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Councillors placing Seaford Foreshore at risk

The Council motion is for Seaford Foreshore Activation - does that mean activation for development? Is it seen as an 'idle' asset - not useful or valuable as it is? It would seem so. As the proposal being put to Council is as follows

"On 10 September 2019 Councillor Bolam gave notice of his intention to move the
following motion:
  1. Council officer’s advocate and negotiate with DELWP for expanded use of the
    Seaford Foreshore.
  2. Pending DELWP support in principle Council refers $40K to the 2020/21 capital
    works budget for planning and design, which is to be sympathetic of the coastal
    location and colours.
  3. Notes a report outlining the detailed budget will be presented to Council for
    inclusion in the draft Capital works program once planning and design has been
    completed."

Why is this being done? The budget for this - just for the proposal - is $40,000. Why are Councillors initiating these sorts of projects when many people in Frankston are experiencing financial hardship? There is little doubt by economic commentators that we are entering a recession. Why are we spending money on this rather than looking to address the far more serious problems of homelessness, children going to school without breakfast and lunch?

Asking DELWP to remove protections from the Foreshore opens up major risks for the foreshore and is something that should be discussed with the community first - and only proceeded with if it has overwhelming support and even then only if other safeguards and protections are in place instead.

What is driving this and where does it come from? Certainly not the community, as requests by the Seaford Community committee to be involved in discussions were met with the following response:

"The motion calls for officers - subject to approval at Budget 2020/2021 - to develop something more tangible/visceral. Once a clearer picture is established, I would then expect greater community input."

This is a very concerning move by Councillors - I personally would be interested to know in what sense this proposal is representing the wishes of the community, and where on earth it came from. Is this just one Councillor's agenda? Is there a group of developers acting behind the scenes? Why has this suddenly emerged - above all the other pressing concerns of Council - as an item worthy of spending ratepayers precious money on?

The specific things that 'in-principle' approval would sought for from DELWP include:

""Seating, tables, sand friendly tiles/ paving or platform, lighting (including LED), a grand
rotunda, public art piece, BBQ and drinking fountain, large sun dial, bike racks,
connective pathways, view of the beach, outdoor shower and feet washing. "

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Comments

I quote the late, great Julianne Bell who used to despair of councils "loading infrastructure into parks". This is loading it onto the foreshore.
The foreshore is already being used by birds, insects and possibly small animals, not to mention the vegetation itself as living organisms. The vegetation has a cooling effect which is most important given the increasing urban heat island effect with ever denser development in all areas of Melbourne. The foreshore provides a permeable surface to absorb water. The foreshore is, in its natural state already " sympathetic to the coastal location and colours". This proposal sounds like "make work" , and jobs for buddies. Not needed and a degradation of the natural area. Any intrusion with infrastructure, tiling, or whatever will affect an area much larger than the actual area where the clutter is put. This is obviously not wanted by locals. Who does it benefit?