Project updates


Boatsheds and bathing boxes are a unique feature of Port Phillip Bay. Frankston City Council manages 60 boatsheds and bathing boxes on the Frankston foreshore. The Frankston foreshore is Crown Land, and Council is the appointed Committee of Management under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978.

Council's Boat Shed Policy (adopted in May 2006) was last reviewed in July 2012. The introduction of the Marine and Coastal Act and Policy, as well as changes to the Victorian Coastal Strategy, has influenced the overarching direction and management of bathing boxes and boat sheds on the foreshore.

We are reviewing our existing Boatshed and Bathing Box Policy to better align it with this current strategic direction.

What feedback have we heard so far?

We have undertaken extensive consultation with in 2021 and 2022, including:

  1. A survey of existing licence holders and the Frankston Bathing Box Association (FBBA), requesting the top three (3) areas of concern or items that submitters would like addressed in an updated Policy.
  2. Categorising the feedback received from licensees and the FBBA into themes to be included, as much as possible, in the updated draft Policy.
  3. Seeking feedback from licensees and the FBBA on an initial draft Policy.
  4. Regular progress updates and discussions with stakeholders throughout the review.

During this initial engagement, Council heard that the top areas of concern in relation to boatsheds and bathing boxes are as follows.

Key concerns with the existing Policy:

What changes to the Policy are proposed?

Following initial engagement in 2021-2022, and review of Guidelines developed by the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA), Council has drafted a revised Policy that we believe reflects current community needs and legislative requirements.

We are now seeking broader community feedback, and will revise the Policy further as needed following this engagement stage. The Policy will then be presented to Council for endorsement.

Key elements of the draft Policy

The key elements of the draft Boatshed and Bathing Box Policy 2023-2028 are to:

  • Preserve and ensure the appropriate use of bathing boxes (boating and beach uses only).
  • Control the use, maintenance, licenses, transfers, and fees of pre-existing structures.
  • Ensure the roles and responsibilities of all parties are clearly defined.
  • Reflect management requirements from new state government legislation, including coastal and environmental treatment.

Summary of proposed changes

Conditions of use5.2Clarifying that bathing boxes can only be used for storage of boating equipment, beach accessories, and shelter.
Licence term5.3In response to licensee consultation feedback that term should be longer, the licence term has been increased to a maximum term of five (5) years.
Licence renewals5.3Included to reflect updated State Government (DEECA) policy and guidelines. Adding requirement that future licence renewals (from 2028) may require provision of a coastal vulnerability assessment no more than 12 months old (to be determined on a case-by-case basis).
Public Liability Insurance 5.3.1Updated to reflect existing arrangements that as insurance may be difficult and costly for individual licensees to obtain, there is an option for licensees to use a Council insurance scheme.
Transfer of licence 5.3.2Clarifying the requirements for licence transfers, and including a requirement that there be no outstanding matters.
Deceased estates5.3.3Clarifying that a licence transfer is not a property transaction. Therefore any right of a licensee is extinguished on their passing. Historically families have considered licences to be part of a licensee’s estate. Council will recognise this for the first bathing box licence issued under the Boatshed/Bathing Box Policy 2023 – 2028, by allowing the past licensees right to be transferred, provided the prerequisites of holding a licence are met. Beyond 2028, the first right of refusal may be provided to remaining licence holders or Council.
Licence cancellation5.3.4Clarifying the circumstances under which a licence may be cancelled. Includes information regarding cancellation where a site is vulnerable and affected by coastal processes, to reflect updated DEECA policy and guidelines.
Reconstruction and alterations5.4Clarifying requirements and consistency with new DEECA policy and guidelines, including coastal processes.
Retaining walls5.4.1Clarifying existing requirements that new retaining walls are prohibited, and repairs to existing retaining walls are subject to DEECA approval.
Fencing5.4.2Clarifying requirements that permanent fencing around a bathing box or the surrounding public area is prohibited. Temporary fencing may be required in the event of a public safety issue, and in this case Council may direct the licensee to fence, or Council may fence and recover the cost of fencing from the licensee.
MaintenanceMultiple sectionsClarifying maintenance requirements, including an update to the maintenance notice period and including requirements that licence cannot be transferred if there is outstanding maintenance.
Sand accretion5.5.1Providing additional information to reflect updated DEECA policy and guidelines.
Sand removal5.5.2Clarifying existing requirements, including annual mechanical clearing at front (opt out service) and requirements for any other sand removal.
Vegetation5.5.3Clarifying existing requirements that removal, lopping or trimming of vegetation (either within or outside the licensed area) by licensees is prohibited except with the prior written approval of Council.
Asbestos5.6Documenting existing requirements that licences contain provisions designed to mitigate asbestos risks. If asbestos removal is required, the licensee must forward a written request to Council to seek approval.
Relocation5.7Providing additional information to reflect updated DEECA policy and guidelines, and confirming that relocation of a bathing box will only be considered in limited circumstances and only where a suitable alternative site can be identified by the licensor and DEECA.
Removal5.8Clarifying existing requirements and reflecting updated DEECA policy and guidelines, that Council and/or DEECA, in accordance with overriding policy, may determine that bathing boxes will be removed from the foreshore area in the specified circumstances.
Services5.9Clarifying existing requirements, as per licensee feedback, that approval will not be provided for any new connections of services. Where a service is required to be disconnected, the licensor will determine whether associated infrastructure is required to be completely removed, considering the potential for damage to the foreshore environment.
Foreshore access5.9.1Clarifying existing requirements that vehicle access to the beach area to undertake maintenance and or approved works must be approved in writing under a park crossing permit.

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