Coastal Management

What we are asking

The Mornington Peninsula Shire has 192km of coastline, of which the councils manage 64km. We need additional support from the Victorian government to better manage our coastlines, build resilience to climate change and ensure our community and visitors can continue to enjoy our beaches and piers.

We seek to work together with the Victorian Government and request:

  • a high-profile communications campaign from the Victorian Government to raise community awareness that coastlines are changing due to the impacts of climate change. This would need to address sea level rise and opportunities to protect our coastal areas.
  • ongoing investment to manage our changing coasts and support our tourism economy, including land reforms, hazard assessments and erosion response measures.
  • as a key coastal stakeholder, we will support DEECA with the implementation of the Marine and Coastal Policy and Strategy.

The Victoria’s Resilient Coast – Adapting for 2100+ program provides opportunities to manage coastal adaptation – we are seeking long term, ongoing commitments to address this huge challenge.

What makes this unique

The Mornington Peninsula has 10 per cent of Victoria’s coastline.

High visitation and public use of our beaches puts pressure on our coasts and there is strong community expectation for continued safe access to our coastal assets.

We need to plan for expected sea level rises associated with climate change, as well as increased storm surges and more intense rainfall events.

Why this is important

With a high proportion of our population, community infrastructure and public open spaces in coastal locations, the Mornington Peninsula is on the front line of climate change.

As the impacts of climate change increase, the significance of erosion on our coastal towns and infrastructure is proportionately greater and results in higher management costs.

We need to be ready for the significant impact of expected sea level rises associated with climate change, as well as increased storm surges and more intense rainfall events, to limit damage to our coastal assets.

The Victorian Government is shifting coastal adaptation costs and responsibilities to Councils – increasing the pressure on us to act with limited financial support and no long-term resourcing commitments.

We need support from the Victorian Government to manage immediate risks and plan for the future of our changing coasts.

For example, the release of Port Phillip Bay’s Coastal Hazard Assessment will provide critical support for the Mornington Peninsula Shire to plan for future coastal erosion.

The benefits – supporting evidence and strategies

The Mornington Peninsula is a significant contributor to the tourism economy in Victoria. Over the summer period more than 30 percent of visitors choose the Mornington Peninsula compared with any other region in Victoria.

In 2019, the Mornington Peninsula attracted 8.5 million visitors. This generated more than $1 billion in direct expenditure and approximately 10,000 tourism jobs.

Recent landslips in Mount Martha, Mornington, Mount Eliza and Flinders have affected residents and caused road closures, cliff collapses and path closures.

Flinders Community Association, Coastal Advisory Groups and Dromana Association Building Community and Business – as well as boating, fishing, and diving communities and the Association of Bayside Municipalities support Council’s advocacy.

Our advocacy aligns with priorities of the South East Councils Climate Change Alliance (SECCCA), which call for sufficient levels of financial support for councils and communities to adapt to climate impacts.