GYMPIE Regional Council is in discussions with the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) about a new location for the Rainbow Beach toilet block.
Originally council spent more than $45,000 in architect fees drawing up a new piered amenities block to go on the eastern side of the Rainbow Beach car park near the lifeguard tower to eliminate the dangers of bathers crossing the car park, which is also a through-way to the beach road down to Double Island Point, to use the loo.
A plan to locate the new amenities just north of the existing block has now been formally presented to DERM.
Council has proposed that the new structure not be piered and that a carefully designed shared pedestrian area in the roadway be added to the design.
DERM rejected council's original proposal because of concerns about placing the block in a dunal area that was prone to erosion.
But at a recent Works and Services Committee meeting, councillors received a report from director of engineering services Bob Fredman which said the new site was still in an erosion prone area.
The report said DERM would have to consider that the new site was no more vulnerable than the existing site.
A letter from DERM outlining why the first proposal was rejected said “the area is susceptible to severe coastal erosion as it is a coastal fore dune that is open to impacts from significant onshore weather systems”.
And the “placement of significant and costly permanent structures within such a vulnerable erosion prone area is unable to be supported due to the required outcomes of the State Coastal Management Plan 2001”.
In April councillors said they wished the government had told them before they spent money on the design considering that assurances were previously given for the first location.