Torquay Foreshore Committee

Part C.A.T.S. Document compiled by Fred Eickemeyer, 1998 reprinted with kind permission of GORCC

GA 7/2/1914              Request to Sth Barwon Council from Mr. Baker, Secretary of the TIA, that the council take steps to appoint trustees from the association to control the foreshore and beach reserves at Torquay with the object of controlling the conduct of people bathing and picnicking there. The matter was referred to the Department of Lands and Works for advice in the best course of action.

Torquay Public Reserves from 1902 onwards. 


  • Meeting called for the selection of Trustees for the Public Reserves. Public meeting held to elect one Trustee to fill the position of a deceased Trustee.
  • Wattles on the Reserve to be sold with conditions that no tree is under 2½, inches in diameter and 2ft high be removed


  • Plans laid out to have the Reserve Camping Ground Fenced (perimeter) Tenders called to fence 45 acres of the Park


  • Application forwarded to the Department for 125 trees and plants to be planted along the Foreshore Reserves.
  • Mention made to have the Reserves proclaimed so a vote may be put from the Government for improving them.
  • Tenders advertised for the leasing of the Camp Ground
  • Tender accepted for the Leasing of the Park


  • Letter received from the South Barwon Shire, complaining that the Park is locked at night and visitors having to pick up the key for the gate at the Palace Hotel (located opposite the park). It was decided to remove the large gate and replace it with a small one.
  • First Lease was signed for a stallholder to operate over the Christmas and Easter Holidays on the Reserve; the fee for this lease was one pound.


  • The amount of Reserves under the Committee Controlled areas is as Claimed from the Department.
  • First Funding Grant received 50 pounds to beautify the Reserves and a plan to be forwarded to work to.
  • Rates for special occasion camping were set: One shilling for adults over 15 of age, 6 pence for children under I5 yr. of age and 1 shilling for horses.
  • Arrangements were made to eradicate the rabbit problem along the Reserves.


  • 2 swings and 1 seesaw were erected at the bottom of Anderson St. on the Esplanade.


  • It was decided to remove the tee-trees from around the Cricket Oval (located in the campground) and replace with strand wire.
  • Horses are not to use the gate at Anderson St. for entry to go swimming they are to use the lower gate.
  • 1 shelter shed, 1 swing and 1 seesaw were erected at the mouth of Spring Creek.


  • Letter was sent to the South Barwon Shire to have the ruts and wash away attended to by their surface
  • Trustees were instructed to poison the rabbits on the Reserve and to fill in the burrows. Carrots had been tried but the rabbits would not take them even though no poison was on them.
  • The Annual meeting is to be held in December and efforts will be made to get subscriptions in before that.
  • Letter sent to South Barwon Shire asking why trees in Torquay were being cut down. Reply was that trees were being used to fill in washaways. Second letter received from South Barwon Shire saying that trees would now be conserved.
  • Lands Department applied for lease of the Golf Links with a cheque enclosed.
  • Decision was made that no fires be permitted in the Reserve and at Pt. Danger.
  • Meetings in the future were to be held in September as December was too busy.
  • Following scale of fees set for the Golf Links; 10 shillings for members, 7 shilling for 6 to 8 week visitors, 5 shilling for 4 to 5 week visitors, 4 shilling for 2 to 3 week visitors, 1 shilling per day or 6 pence per round.


  • 2 Shelter sheds are to be erected on Bathing Box Beach
  • 2 Notice Boards to be placed at Bathing Beach warning horses and motor bikes against riding on the beach
  • Notice was given to build a Latrine at the North end of Bathing Beach providing that a suitable location could be found
  • Person fined One Pound for burning 5 acres of Marrum Grass and vegetation, which had been planted, with the help of the Community.
  • April 12th I9I3, Public Election for the position of one Trustee was held
  • The desirability of Farmhouse Regulations was discussed to prevent anyone dumping old shanties from other places or building with unsuitable or unsightly materials or placing stables and out offices in to prominent places near neighbour’s houses.
  • It was mentioned that the top of the Bluff at the western side of Spring Creek at its mouth is blowing away It was agreed to place I or 2 Brush Brakes to keep sand and soil from eroding any further.


  • Motion was moved to write to the Department of Lands to have the Land on which the Bathing Boxes are situated be placed under the control of the Trustees.
  • Motion moved to forward a letter to the Lands Department asking that in receipt the large amounts received for Bathing Box Licenses, an increased amount be granted towards the upkeep of the Reserves.
  • Letter received from the South Barwon Shire requesting that the cleaning of the closets be attended to. Resolved that the matter be left in the hands of the Chairman.


  • Application received from the Sports Club to use the oval on New Year’s Day. It was recommended that the Sports Committee be allowed to use oval and that they were responsible for any damage done and rubbish to be removed
  • Account received for 7 pound IO shilling for work done on the Reserve. This work was never Authorised and the Chairman to follow up.


  • Re: Bathing Box Revenue, correspondence was read on the matter and after consideration it was agreed that a deputation consisting of members of the Trustees would wait on the Minister of Lands and make representation on the view to getting the whole of the reserve revenue from Bathing Boxes.
  • Re: Catering in the Reserve. Received that regulations be prepared governing the letting of the Kiosk and conditions to be observed by vendor & any other vendors of refreshments. And that the Trustees be informed to interview vendor & point out that he was expected to have the Kiosk open continually during the Holidays
  • Re: Catering on the Reserve near Mouth of’ Creek. Received that the Chairman be empowered to let vendor cater at Mouth of Creek with use of hot water shed & control of’ water at trough for horses at rent of 5 pound per year.

GA 2/8/1919 Returned soldiers progressing well with the road works at Torquay – extending The Esplanade northwards.


  • The Chairman reported that the Lands Department had notified the Trustees that the Minister for Lands had resolved to place the control of the Bathing Boxes at Torquay in the hands of the Trustees, with the condition that the Revenues be spent on the Reserves. It was resolved that the Secretary write to the Lands Department and request that a Survey be made of the Bathing Box sites.
  • Tenders were called for maintaining the fences, swings & seesaws and also the flower beds & rockeries to be maintained. It was suggested maybe to employ someone for this purpose.
  • Proposed beautification scheme for Torquay. Letter was sent to a Mr. Everett asking him if he would undertake the preparation of a scheme for improvements.
  • Reply from Mr. Everett agreeing to carry out plan with a cost of 21 pounds
  • It was resolved that the Trustees inquire into the purchasing of a mowing machine.
  • Tenders received for the leasing of the Golf Links for a term of 3 years for the amount of 15.56 pound per annum.
  • Two notice boards are to be erected, one at Fisherman’s Point & one at Pt. Danger and also a line is to be drawn on stone at Danger defining the boundary inside of which no stone is to be removed
  • A letter to be sent to South Barwon Shire re: wandering cattle, and for their Officers to attend this
  • Plots to be ploughed up at Pt. Danger and other frontages and to be sown with tea tree seeds.


  • Buckland moved and Mr. Harrison seconded that a record be placed on the minutes an expression of grievance be recorded, owing to the loss sustained by them through the death of their Chairman Mr. J W Taylor.
  • Lease of Reserve on Creek be permitted for the period of 3 years with a fee of 3 pound per annum.
  • Letter to be sent to South Barwon Council requesting that they do not remove anymore stone from Pt. Danger.
  • Tenders were advertised for the sale of Hot Water on the Reserve and at the Mouth of Creek for the summer period 


  • Re: Removal of stone from Pt. Danger. The South Barwon Shire has agreed that Pt. Danger and all other portions of the Foreshore would be safeguarded in the future.
  • Bathing Boxes to be 7 foot in length and to be painted in lead & oil paints.
  • S.L.SC asking for materials to build Bathing Boxes for its members & offering to erect if materials are provided Passed by Trustees.
  • Torquay Cricket & Football Club asking to have W erected at oval in the Reserve. Chairman to look for 2nd hand W C
  • Letter from Torquay Improvement Association, requesting male W. C at north end of Esplanade W. C already installed
  • Tenders called for the Stripping of Wattle Bark & purchase of timber. Tender of 28 pound 11 shilling accepted
  • Tenders called for the cutting & stacking of dead timber. Tender of7 pound 6 shilling accepted


  • Letter from Golf Club requesting part of the Reserve for Golfing purposes. Permission was granted
  • Letter received from the Lands Department for application for Mineral Leases on portions of the Foreshore. Replied to Lands Department objecting to leasing any portions of the Foreshore.
  • proposed alterations to Kiosk. It was granted to lease out kiosk for a period of 21 years to Mr.McFarlane for a proposed new building and a rental of 4 pound per year and that such building to become the property of the Trustees at the end of the term. 1t is not to be sub let without the consent of the Trustees·.
  • Re: repairs to Bathing Boxes. Lessees of Bathing sites whose boxes required repairing be notified that same must be attended to within 2 months, otherwise their leases would not be renewed at the end of the year
  • Letter from Torquay Bowling Club requesting a site on the old Golf Links Reserve for a Bowling & Croquet Club. Approved with conditions that satisfactory arrangements are made to relative fencing, etc.
  • Removal of Stone from beach. Letter to offending person that without permission any further removal and he would be prosecuted


  • Application received for Boat License. Application granted with a fee of 15 shilling per annum.
  • Letter received from the Torquay Improvement Assoc. regarding the amount of rats at the tip. It was moved to have the rats poisoned


  • Torquay Bowling Club, asking for a donation of 20 pound towards the construction of a shelter partition, on condition that plan is submitted and approved
  • Extension of lease of the Reserve granted for a further 3 years.

March 1926

  • Application received for permission to erect a Kiosk at Pt. Danger. Permit granted on the conditions that the boundaries for catering would be from the intersection of Bell Street and The Esplanade to the sea front & to include the Foreshore between these points. Rental to be 2 pound per annum, plans to be approved by the Trustees on an approved site & that such Kiosk become the property of the Trustees after a period of I0 years.

July 1926

  • Secretary to write to applicant for Kiosk at Pt. Danger withdrawing offer re catering rights at Pt.Danger, and notifying that Tenders would be called for at a later date.

Nov 1926

  • Printed copies of Foreshore Regulations were approved (I2 on Calico & 500 on paper) and the Chairman undertook to have 8 Calico copies mounted and forwarded to Torquay and placed in the Reserves.
  • Lease of Old Golf Links (Taylor Park) granted for 3 years at I 5 pounds & 5 shillings per annum plus rates.
  • Tenders called for the supply of hot water and soft drinks from Mouth of Creek around Pt. Danger to Bell Street.
  • The Secretary was instructed to write to the Department of Police asking for better protection on Sundays.
  • Local Trustees were authorised to appoint a man at a limit of I5 shillings per day, to patrol the beach during the Holidays, his duty being to tidy up the Reserves and see that the Regulations were carried out on the Foreshore.

February 1927

  • Tenders called for the Catering rights for Pt. Danger and to include parking rights to limit of I shilling
  • Repairs to bridge over creek were to go ahead and that the Golf Club and the Improvement Association were to contribute to the costs.

April 1927

  • Tender accepted for Pt. Danger Catering for the amount of 10 pound per annum.
  • It was decided to hold the next meeting at Torquay, and to arrange a suitable site on the Reserves for Campers.
  • The Land Department has given the Committee power to include Rocky Beach as far as Jan Juc Creek

June 1927

  • A general inspection of the Reserves was made, and it was resolved that the Triangular Reserve opposite the Palace Hotel be thrown open for Campers, and that Conveniences be erected thereon

Sept 1927

  • A Public Meeting was held at the Torquay Hall for the Election of Committee Members and was well attended with over 150 people in attendance.

Dec 1927

  • Taylor’s Park: The secretary reported that Mrs Rice had applied for cancellation of lease as and from 31/12/27 owing to the death of the lessee Mr W. Rice, and his action in granting same was confirmed.
  • As there were no Tenders to hand for leasing above, it was resorted that it be left with the local committee to obtain & submit tenders for ploughing and harrowing.
  • it was resolved that an agreement be completed with the Golf Club to lease the small reserve relinquished by Management at the same rental, being 2 pound 10 shilling p.a.
  • it was resolved that an agreement be completed with the Bowling Club to lease portion a/Taylor’s Park now occupied by them at rental of 1 pound p.a.
  • The appointment of Mr H. Voss was confirmed for the position of Beach Ranger for a fortnight at a rate of 15 shilling per day

March 1928

  • Mr Smith reported that he had received promises of donations totaling 35 pound towards the cost of erecting Concrete Pavilion at foot of Anderson Street and asked the assistance of the Committee in adding the list of donors.
  • It was resolved that the best thanks of the Committee be accorded to Mr Smith, and that a plan and estimate be prepared and submitted at the next meeting.
  • It was reported that a quote for 12 shilling per acre had been received for the ploughing and harrowing of Taylor’s Park.
  • The Chairman referred to the death of Mr W.Parker and drew attention to the valuable work done by the deceased in the interests of the Committee over a period of many years. It was unanimously resolved that his death be recorded with regret and that a minute of appreciation of his services be placed in the minute book.

June 1928

  • Secretary was authorised to grant renewal of agreement re sports oval for a further 12 months, on receipt of application from the Torquay Improvement Association, provided that fees were paid.
  • Secretary produced draft agreements with the Golf Club & Bowling Clubs and same were approved.
  • The action of the Chairman in allowing the Department to carry telephone wires & posts across portions of the Reserve was approved.
  • Mr Kelsall of the Palace Hotel has offered to collect Camping fees, provided that the front gate be kept locked, and a key left at the Hotel. Reserved that same be done, and that Mr Kelsall be thanked for his offer.

Nov 1928

  • Letter from Golf Club asking for a donation towards the cost of erecting a Club House. The Chairman advised that the building was being erected on the Committee’s Reserve, and it was agreed that the sum of 5 pounds he donated to the club.
  • Mr JA. Taylor made a personal application for a donation towards cost of a cement wicket on the oval for the Progress Association. It was resolved that an amount of 2 pound 10 shilling be donated
  • After a lengthy discussion, it was resolved that the 5 lights guaranteed by the Committee, be placed on the Foreshore Reserve midway between the Esplanade & the beach, and as nearby as possible, facing the street leading to the beach. The Secretary was instructed to write to the Progress Association, asking them to use their endeavours to have 2 of the Council lights placed on the Esplanade, so as to fit in with the Committee ‘s scheme of lighting.

Feb 1929

  • Letter received from the 1mprovement Association, objecting to dancing at the Kiosk. No action was taken.
  • It was resolved that Mr.S. Barnfather be appointed to audit the books and accounts of the Committee.
  • Reference was made to the untidy state of the beach, and it was resolved that for the next holiday season, applications for the position of Ranger should be called for.
  • The local committee were authorised to incur expenditure up to 10 pound for tree planting


Other Points of Previous History.

Jan Juc:


  • Bark was cut from Wattles for tannin at Jan Juc
  • Sheep let out into the dunes to graze-they were driven from the malee.
  • Roads topped with Marli coffee rock, a gully of granular stone good for road making and found in the cliffs of Bird Rock.
  • Jan Juc sand used for buildings and lawn dressings.
  • 1963- Jan Juc Surf Club begun
  • Drilled for oil at or behind Jan Juc

Rocky Point


  • Huge beach parties in the dunes at Rocky Point
  • Tea-tree introduced but not indigenous
  • Bone Seed needed to be removed by front end loader
  • 1890’s- Rocky Point a favorite destination – room for a game of cricket. Large rotunda donated and built at end of Point.

Spring Creek

  • First kiosk was located on the spring I well at Spring Creek.
  • 1840’s- First white settlement on the banks of Spring Creek. Squatter Hut located somewhere in this location
  • Popular camping and picnic area
  • Old footbridge.
  • Taylor sold fresh water for the horses and boiled water for the picnickers from wood fired hot water copper
  • Horses and carts were tethered at the Blue Bush Trees.
  • Old footbridge situated over Spring Creek.
  • 1890’s- Second race track setup.
  • Ferryboat operated on Spring Creek for people who fish or shoot.
  • Floating pontoon- somewhere for people to cross into the racetrack- fee charged.
  • A cask of ale was provided for helpers to de- snag the creek for swimming at the swimming hole.
  • Cypress trees were planted in the 1920’s

Torquay Township.

  • 1880’s Coffee Palace built.
  • 1891- Coffee Palace became a Hotel and had views to the beach. Area in front of Hotel (existing Caravan Park) was covered by sand in the late 1880’s.
  • First Racing Course around the Camping Ground Site.
  • 1893- Foreshore Committee elected.
  • 1937- Torquay permanent population of only 17 people. Day-trippers coming in their thousands. 80 holiday houses built.
  • March 1941 -Severe Fire swept through the Town- took some bathing boxes and approx. 80 houses.
  • 1950’s- 6-meter high tides flooded and washed out foreshore area.
  • Annual event arranged by Foreshore Committee to raise funds for toilets. Included iron coites ,tossing the sheath, tug of war, cycle races and foot races.
  • Two German pilots crashed in Torquay. They were not turned in to authorities, instead they were rescued and hidden and engaged to do odd jobs and painting around Torquay homes.
  • 10-meter whale was beached -attempted to boil it down for oil

Torquay Surf Beach.

  • 1956 Surf Carnival- attracted thousands of people.
  • Dance parties at the Surf Club.
  • Surf Beach eroded
  • Reef and belt brought around to Front Beach.
  • Early 1960’s- Dunes leveled to form Voss Carpark.
  • Malibu’s- meant people could surf the breaks e.g.: Point Impossible.

Point Danger & Cosy Corner.

  • The Scammel Wreck- pieces of the Scammel are in the back gardens of some people’s houses.
  • Internal walls of Rotundas were lined with photos of German and Japanese planes to assist identification by women who were stationed at the lookouts to monitor the aerial action.
  • 1920’s Cypress trees planted. Foreshore Committee subsequently removed the cypress from the Front Beach.
  • End of the 1950’s- Rotundas and Boat Sheds were demolished
  • Anderson Street and Cosy Corner still open for bathing. By the end of the 1950’s bathing boxes were demolished because only a few liked them in the dunes
  • Shelter Sheds were situated at Point Danger.

Front Beach.

  • Norfolk Island Pines were planted along the Front Beach.
  • 1939 Norfolk Island Pines were planted in the Sand Dunes.
  • Royal Yacht Club installed on the Front Beach.
  • Sea Wall with 2-meter footings was built in sections during the 1950’s.
  • Rotunda at the end of Anderson Street had a kiosk.
  • 1894- Public Bathing Boxes removed from Foreshore. Neck to knees bathers were enforced.

Yellow Bluff.

  • A “Pill Box” was situated on the Yellow Bluff Plateau during the war. The area was also used for a circus, a tip, a mine for mari and a fenced go-kart track.
  • 1970’s Adventure Playground was built
  • Bathing Boxes were situated in the rough dunes.
  • Dummy Guns in the dunes at Front Beach within the trees.
  • Scammel’ s anchor on grassed embankment.
  • Five large rotunda’s situated on beach front.
  • Dunes were leveled and planted with grass which would not grow under them. In the 1950’s the double row of Cypress trees were removed at a rate of 4 to 5 per year, the Public objected to their removal.

Taylor Park.

  • 1957- School children helped to plant trees in Taylor Park.
  • 1929- Taylor Park laid out as a golf course.
  • 60-70 year old trees planted by Arthur Taylor.
  • 1929- Arthur Taylor went to the Otways to collect species for planting in Taylor Park.
  • Arthur Best helped to relocate the golf course and then planted out the Park.