It seems we are losing our natural foreshore by a process of stealth. The Seaford community has fought for years to retain the beautiful natural bush land along the foreshore. It is, and has always, been at risk. I have spoken to people who would like to see the bush removed and grass and palm trees planted all along there. But we have resisted this. We have also resisted repeated pushes for hard paths through the bushland (for bike access). But not-so slowly we are seeing the foreshore change, gradually more and more of it is being developed, paved and covered with boardwalks, and even street-lighting in the bush area:
Much of this onslaught is by our own Council, who now are replacing the blue stone toilet blocks - which sit naturally and unobtrusively in the bush:
with garish, enormous new toilet blocks:
Which seem to need a large amount of bush to be cleared around them:
I communicated with Council about this (see extract below) and I was told that in large part this was to allow access for disabled people - this sounds very noble, except if you go to the new toilet already built (opposite the caravan park) you find the DISABLED TOILET LOCKED (i.e vacant, but inaccessible) - so much for the lip service of caring for the disabled!
The second issue was regarding cleanliness and graffiti resistance. The current bluestone toilet blocks have very little graffiti, and it is never been bad enough for me to really notice - so either it is not happening, or it can be removed.
As for cleaniness, the toilets are at time of writing quite unclean. One resident even reported the cleaner arriving while she was there photographing the mess, but the cleaner just left after looking in the toilet, and didn't bother to unlock the disabled toilet.
So we are seeing our beautiful historic toilets being removed, under these pretexts. I would appreciate it if anyone could let me know if they have connections to representatives of the disability community - because I really do wonder if we need ALL the toilets on Seaford foreshore to have disabled access? Currently there is disabled access at:
1. Seaford pier.
2. Keast Park
3. Opposite the cabin park.
I know people who have needed disabled access, and they have said they only would expect (and need) only one or two places to access the beach.
Here is Council's justification for the works:
Subject: RE: Frankston City Council - Toiletblocks
As previously mentioned, Council want/need to cater for all abilities, provide safe, inviting and user friendly/comfortable facilities which are easy to clean and maintain. While also presenting a universal design language with modern and compliant facilities throughout the Municipality. In 2011 Frankston City had over 60+ public toilets, with a large number of these amenities requiring replacement, removal or upgrade to meet Australian Standards as well as the future needs and expectations of the community.
The public toilet action plan which covers all of the existing public toilet amenities across the municipality, this informs our capital works program over the coming 10-20 years to ensure public toilets are prioritised.
The facility at Armstrongs Rd is listed as being removed and replaced and at this stage is on our program during FY19/20.