Council retreats as rising sea threatens Poona toilet block

TOILETS at Poona will be sacrificed to the rising sea in years to come as the council ruled out building a $300,000 seawall and instead, adopted a retreat policy.

At their meeting in Hervey Bay on Wednesday last week, the Fraser Coast Regional Council unanimously agreed to stop attempting to protect the infrastructure.

But the toilet block will continue to remain operational despite being under threat from erosion on the Poona foreshore.

Investigations led by the council to build a seawall to protect the toilet were brought to an end because of rising costs and red tape.

Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said the council proposed to build a seawall to protect the block.

"The approval conditions from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection stipulated that council would have had to remove the seawall after five years which would have been expensive and most likely put the toilet back under threat from the sea," he said.

"Instead we will maintain the toilet block as it is for as long as possible.

"Once we can no longer protect it then it will have to be removed."

The cost of building and then removing a seawall was estimated to range from $230,000 to $295,000.

The council opted to retreat while erosion threatened a road at Gatakers Bay in Point Vernon and parts of Fixter Park in Toogoom.

In this financial year the council have allocated more than $2 million for coastal protection.

About $4 million worth of high priority coastal protection works have been earmarked for construction over four years.

The high priority coastal protection areas include Torquay, from the Hervey Bay Sailing Club to Ron Beaton Park, Scarness Caravan Park and Dayman Park.

The proposed coastal protection work is considered the last line of defence and the council will also investigate sand supply sources and options to assist with beach nourishment.