NEW toilet blocks have been installed in recent months at Yanakie, Fish Creek and Toora, and it is hoped Sandy Point can follow suit.
The improvement of toilet facilities in the popular seaside town has been identified in the Sandy Point Community Plan as a high priority.
It is generally recognised that the facilities are totally inadequate for the hordes of holidaymakers who descend on the Sandy Point beach every summer. This is especially so when there are special events, such as the annual Fun Run along the beach or the various carnivals organised by the Sandy Point-based Waratah Beach Surf Life Saving Club.
The Sandy Point Community Group has written to South Gippsland Shire Council on a number of occasions over many years, acknowledging the work Council does in keeping the facilities clean, but also expressing concern about the condition of the toilets. The toilets are regularly on the agenda at Sandy Point Community Group meetings, and the group is planning to undertake work to improve the toilets for the coming summer season, but a long term solution is desperately needed.
The solution is not easy, because the toilets are not owned or managed by Council. Although Council currently assists with their cleaning and with fixing them when they break down, it has no plans to renew the facility.
Council has decided, however, that something has to be done. At the October council meeting, Cr Mohya Davies proposed that Council commission a report on the options available to the Sandy Point community regarding the possible replacement of the current public amenities. She received unanimous support from Council.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and the Sandy Point Foreshore Committee of Management will be consulted, and the report will come up with an estimated cost to replace the facility and options for funding the construction. It will also look at ongoing ownership and maintenance responsibility for the facility.
Cr Davies said that in the meantime she would be allocating $1000 from her Councillor Discretionary Fund towards fixing the toilets so that they are useable this summer.
She said that Council had managed to come up with a solution for Yanakie, where the toilets were replaced as part of a major upgrade of the recreation reserve, with a large grant from the government. She was hopeful, she said, that Sandy Point could attract government funding, too.