A missed opportunity to restore Portsea Beach

Published on 21 July 2020

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Mornington Peninsula Shire has expressed its disappointment at a missed opportunity to restore the iconic Portsea Public Beach.
 
The Shire has been working directly with the Victorian Government through the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) with the aim to develop a long-term solution for the return of the Beach.
 
During recent repairs to the sandbag wall (a temporary solution to halt any further erosion), a medium term option presented itself. As part of this process, a temporary rock bund was constructed to assist in preventing any damage to the sandbag wall during recent storm events.

The rock protective bund opened up the possibility of repurposing the rock into a groyne to encourage the beach to reform.

The Shire had the concept scientifically modelled by coastal and ocean engineering consultancy Water Technology and the results indicated a groyne would promote an increased accumulation of sand and the restoration of the beach.
 
Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Councillor Sam Hearn said despite our best efforts to work with DELWP to realise this cost-effective solution, the rock bund has been removed at significant expense to the tax-payer and we are back to square one.
 
“There’ll be no beach at Portsea for the community this summer and we are deeply disappointed that this sensible option has been rejected out of hand.”
 
In September 2018, the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Hon Lily D’Ambrosio wrote to the Mayor to ask council to work with DELWP and confirmed her “previous commitment to further investigate other options that will facilitate the return of the sandy beach at Portsea and note that the implementation of these repair works will not preclude the investigation or implementation of any other options which may be determined as being feasible in returning a sandy beach to Portsea in the future.”
 
Nepean Ward Councillor Hugh Fraser said “DELWP’s removal of the rock bund defies logic and is at odds with the Minister D’Ambrosio’s commitment for the government to investigate other options to bring the beach back. I am very disappointed that this achievable plan has been totally frustrated.”

Nepean Ward Councillor Bryan Payne said” it’s been close to two years since the Minster gave her commitment to us to restore the beach and here we are in 2020 with waves still crashing into a temporary sand bag wall. This has been a wasted opportunity that ultimately denies locals and visitors the opportunity to enjoy a great public amenity.”
 
The Shire is committed to returning the public beach back to its former glory and will continue to work with DELWP and the Victorian Government to secure a long term solution.

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