St Leonards foreshore gets a makeover

February 22, 2024 BY

(L-R) St Leonards Progression Association convenor Marie Reed, Corangamite federal member Libby Coker and City of Greater Geelong mayor Trent Sullivan. Photo: ELLIE CLARINGBOLD

THE construction of new facilities at the St Leonards foreshore have been completed.

Funded by a $430,000 grant from the federal government, the upgrades include an open plan pavilion with a barbecue, beach showers, change rooms and CCTV cameras.

Accessible paths, a shade shelter and five new picnic tables have also been constructed.

The new facilities were officially opened to the public on Monday (February 19) by Corangamite Labor federal member Libby Coker and City of Greater Geelong mayor Trent Sullivan.

The occasion was commemorated with a community barbecue.

Ms Coker said the upgraded facilities, while a long time coming, had been worth the wait.

“The new facilities will ensure the foreshore park becomes a vibrant hub for community gatherings, leisure and relaxation.

“St Leonards is a growing community. We all know that there’s more people moving down here. It is a hidden jewel in the crown.

“I hope everyone embraces this space and makes good use of it.”

She acknowledged the role advocacy from both the St Leonards Progress Association and Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson had played in helping to realise the redevelopment.

“I think any community project generally only occurs because communities step up and say this is much needed,” Ms Coker said.

“What I love is when projects are bipartisan.

“Sometimes there’s too much adversity in politics. What we need to see is more people coming together and working towards community goals.

“This is an example of that.”

As part of the redevelopment, the foreshore’s new furniture has been made from recycled, marine-grade aluminium able to withstand St Leonards’ coastal environment.

Bellarine Ward councillor Elise Wilkinson celebrated these features of the project.

“The upgrade has transformed the St Leonards foreshore into a more accessible and vibrant community space, creating a destination that not only celebrates our coastal environment but also ensures everyone can enjoy the beauty of St Leonards,” she said.

“The use of recycled aluminium for the new street furniture is a commendable step towards sustainability.

“This not only enhances the durability of the facilities, but also reflects a conscientious approach to environmental consideration.”

Plans for the foreshore’s redevelopment initially included the construction of a public toilet and connecting sewerage, however it was scrapped due to cost escalations.

Ms Coker agreed that that public toilets were “much needed”.

“I know that the community is still pushing hard for those,” she said.

“I am encouraging the council to continue to work with the community and I will be doing my best to ensure that we provide to the [St Leonards Progress] Association opportunities where you can get funding from council and federal and state governments.”

A space has been left for the proposed public toilet should the City receive additional funding to deliver it in the future.