Concern for lookout

Concern for lookout

Concerned local residents are hoping the Jemmys Point lookout along Lookout Road in Kalimna will be returned to its former glory.

Following the $1.5 million investment made by the Federal Government and East Gippsland Shire Council for a new viewing platform near the Princes Highway, some locals are hoping the Jemmys Point lookout on Lookout Road will also receive a tidy up.

The lookout overlooks Lakes Entrance and offers views of the Gippsland Lakes, all the way up to Metung and down to Lake Bunga.

The lookout, unlike the highway upgrade, is a spacious area within Kalimna with picnic tables and toilets, but one local man came into the Lakes Post office to voice his concerns.

Among these were the overgrown trees impeding the view, requiring tourists to stand on picnic tables, climb fences and go outside the chainmesh fenced boundaries to try and get a view or photo.

Fellow local resident, John Munns, was pleased to hear about the funding of the viewing platform, but hoped the Lookout Road location would be considered for funding as well.

“This is great news, it will provide locals and visitors alike with a new lookout, which is well overdue. But the area it is proposed for is not Jemmys Point,” he said.

“It does not provide the same breadth of view that the lookout on Lookout Road provides.

“It is all there at Jemmys Point. The boomerang concept would lend itself to a wider viewing angle. Further, the sloping land would allow for fully accessible
access via ramps not steps.

“The platform could be built south of the tower and be above vegetation to give a much more expansive view.

“Perhaps, even barbecue facilities in the open space.

“Even if the platform stays at the top of Kalimna Hill, the Jemmys Point (Lookout Road) Lookout should not be dismissed or sidelined.”

Gregory Pinnock was horrified when he learned toilet facilities at the Jemmys Point lookout were closed and hoped the situation would be resolved prior to Easter and the approaching school holidays.

“On Friday afternoon (March 29) I walked over to the Jemmys Point Lookout, as I regularly do, only to be confronted by toilet paper blowing around,” he said.

“Today (March 31) I again walked over to the lookout and encountered a very distressed lady who had just walked her elderly mother with a walker over to the toilets only to discover they have been closed. She went on tell me she has been bringing her mother up to the Jemmys Point Lookout for years.

“I have been advised that this lookout has had these toilet blocks for over 20 years. This lookout is promoted in many travel brochures due to its historical significance - people come here for birthday parties, weddings and scenery photos.”

East Gippsland Shire Council acting director operations, Fiona Weigall, revealed the reason behind the closure of the toilet.

“The old and sub-standard toilets at Jemmys Point were closed late last week.

A notice was not placed at the facility and we apologise for that,” she said.

“A notice has since been placed at the toilets notifying of the closure and where to access other public toilets.

“The toilets are the least used in Lakes Entrance and council has received complaints about the standard of the facility in the past.

“The new Apex Park toilets recently opened and were constructed as replacement toilets, classified as a replacement asset for Jemmys Point, which are old, in poor condition and do not meet current standards.

“We have committed to completing public consultation by June 30 to determine if the toilets would be demolished or not. When announced, all consultations are advertised in the Shire Noticeboard newspaper advertisement and on council’s website.

“We regularly review the location and levels of use of public toilets to ensure that we provide appropriate facilities to meet changing community needs and expectations. Based on these factors, new toilets at the very popular Apex Park were constructed.

“A portion of the Bullock Island toilets have also been closed for safety.”

PICTURED: Concerned local residents are hoping the Jemmys Point lookout along Lookout Road in Kalimna will be returned to its former glory.