Brighton Beach-style bathing boxes could feature on Queenscliff’s front beach, if an ambitious plan by the borough’s Chamber of Commerce wins council approval.
The business group has pitched an idea to have demountable boxes dotted along the foreshore between the historic pier and pilot station.
President Tony Francis said the proposal was a certain winner and would provide a unique accommodation option for the town.
“I think there’s plenty of room for up to a dozen beach boxes and we could work out two or three long term rental options say from six months, weekly and even weekender boxes,” he said.
“This is one of the only beaches on the bay that is not being eroded, it is actually getting sand back. It is a major asset for the community and we’re not doing anything, we’ve got a mess. Portsea and other resorts would love what we’ve got here but we don’t maximize its potential,” Mr Francis said.
Under the proposal beach boxes would be erected during peak holidays months and removed during the off-season. Accommodation would be pitched at long-stay groups such as research teams and towards shorter-term family and couples markets.
It is part of a bigger push by the Chamber to have a detailed plan formalised for the once premier beach incorporating vegetation management, a timber boardwalk and activities such as beach volleyball.
“How iconic would bathing boxes be, all painted up in beautiful colours. You could get the community involved in building them, [and] in painting them, managing them would be easy and then after March, April you take them down and they sit in storage until September-October and the best thing is people would be using this beach again.,” the proprietor of the nearby Harry’s Kiosk said.
The town’s once bustling front beach has been the subject of much discussion over recent years, with locals pushing to have it restored to its former glory.
A petition of close to 1,000 people urged governments to remove overgrown vegetation, prompting federal government funding for a Green Army cleanup in recent months.
Mr Francis said while the works were an improvement, they had not gone nearly far enough.
“What we need is a bit of leadership and drive to get these projects up and running. We’ve discussed this beach now for over two years and there’s only so much locals can do.
“Obviously this land is Council land, it’s managed by Council. The cleanup has been all right but we need to keep progressing that work. The number one reason why people come to seaside towns is to go to the beach and if you look at this beach it has just been totally neglected over the last 15 to 20 years and that’s a real indictment on the leaders of this town.
“We pride ourselves on our beautiful township and natural beauty but people come down here and they look at this beach and think what a waste. Why aren’t we looking after it and managing it better?”