The Nationals Gippsland South Mcloughlins Beach Toilets Health hazard health hazard mcloughlins beach jetty Minister for Environment public toilets

Mcloughlins Beach health hazard must be addressed

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has written to the Minister for Environment calling on her to rectify a public health risk at Mcloughlins Beach that has been escalating since the middle of last year.

Mr O’Brien said a decision to permanently close the toilet facilities next to the Mcloughlins Beach jetty has resulted in visitors risking public safety by defecating along the foreshore and around the vicinity of the closed facilities.

“I have received numerous emails and calls from locals and holiday-makers alike who are distraught at the current condition of the jetty’s surrounds as it appears many people are choosing not to travel the 600 metres or so to the other public toilets at the boat ramp,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I was told the initial closure of the jetty toilets was due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, I am now advised by Parks Victoria that the septic system does not meet current EPA guidelines and the toilets will remain closed with no current plans to replace or update them.”

Mr O’Brien said Mcloughlins Beach is a tourist drawcard and an increased number of people have been collecting cockles this summer, increasing pressure on the local environment and facilities.  He has separately raised concerns about the sustainability and enforcement of cockle collection with the Government.

“Rather than limiting the facilities at such a destination, the Andrews Labor Government should be investing in them.  I am aware Parks Victoria previously tried to close the facilities as far back as 2014, with the belief that the shire-owned toilets some 600m away would be a suitable alternative.

“However it soon became apparent, as it is now, that this was not a suitable fix and it was agreed that the state-owned toilets would remain open until an alternative was found.

“I’ve now written to the Minister asking that she expedite the renewal of the toilets or the provision of adequate temporary facilities to alleviate the risk to public health and wellbeing as a matter of urgency.

“We live in a beautiful area, but we can’t expect tourists to want to spend their hard-earned dollars here if our facilities aren’t up-to-scratch.”

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien is lobbying for the re-opening of the Mcloughlins Beach toilets.

 

5 February 2021

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