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Bluestone toilets in Frankston - Why this petition is important

Why do I think the preservation of a working fifty-year old bluestone toilet block, in the face of its unnecessary replacement by a production-line designed one, so important that I can bring myself to promote a change.org petition to save it? Because somehow this blocky polylith has shown the capacity to unite us, where we can agree on little else. We live in a very atomised society, suburbanites here in Australia, victims of change and population engineering. People find it difficult to agree on complex politics, but the toilet block is an obvious example of something that does not need fixing, but that someone is fixing to fix. It should be too small for the council to fight us over it, but since the council intends to replace all bluestone blocks, stopping this would obviously frustrate a significant financial transaction. Someone is benefiting financially from this overkill, but not us.

Somehow the threatened removal of the sturdy bluestone toilets symbolizes important elements of our disempowerment. Some of these are our resentment at impermanence, our growing lack of local self-determination, lack of real consultation in favour of manufactured consent, industrial design over artisanship, synthetics over stone and trees, abuse of authority, planning facism, consumerism, delocalisation of decisions, spin replacing argument, and corporate beneficiaries taking over local employment and manufacture.

Our state-ruled local government has different values from many of the locals. These values are for the imposition of unnecessary new infrastructure of banal style and flimsy construction in place of something that anyone can see is durable and which has taken on the thermodynamic patina of age and locality – a sign that it belongs. Somehow this toilet block seems the right place to make a stand. See the petition here or republished below.

Bluestone toilet blocks Seaford Foreshore battle with Council

We publish here correspondence with Frankston Council over residents' objections to unilateral replacement for bluestone toilet blocks with inferior and costly new ones. The bluestone bricks were not recycled within the council and it is not yet known where they have gone or who may have finished up with them. This toilet inquiry by locals has shown its use in focusing on a small but important unit and asking simple questions, which may yet educate a public more or less overwhelmed by the scale of the ongoing dismantling of Melbourne. The photographs show how well the toilet unit fits into the natural environment, because of the use of natural, almost unprocessed, materials.

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