Pillar 7 - Safety beach bay trail

Recycled as this pillar stands
environments are in our hands.
Plastics, glass, paper, cans
refined each day
and fashioned into something planned
to save our Bay.

This ‘Jingle’ was written by Tom McCullough in 2015 to illustrate an idea for poetry pillars that came from visiting the ancient Standing Stones of Ireland and Scotland. The new pillars mark out the Bay Trail at intervals, but instead of using traditional rock, the poetry pillars would be made from a very modern medium that is also grey, hard wearing and will not deteriorate in the weather – recycled waste plastics.

Our modern environment

Discarded plastic bags choke most modern waterways unfortunately, and cause untold deaths among fish, birds and marine animals in our Bay. Only 4% of Port Phillip Bay is changed daily through the narrows of Port Phillip Heads, between Point Nepean and Point Lonsdale. Instead of letting waste and plastic bags accumulate in the Bay, they should all be recycled to make solid plastic items like many new hardwearing signposts and outdoor furniture on our foreshores. Each of our poetry pillars along the Bay Trail is made of 42,500 plastic bags that were processed by an Australian company called REPLAS in Victoria. Imagine what a mess these plastic bags would have made if half a million of them were just dumped along this Bay Trail, instead of being recycled into our 11 pillars!

Linking land and sea

The pillars also reflect how buoyage marks are placed on the right and left sides of sea channels that lead ships safely into every port or anchorage. Red squares indicate the left-hand (or port) side when entering a channel, and green triangles indicate the right-hand (or starboard) side. This rule is universal so that mariners coming into a new country will know which side of a marker has deep water. When leaving a port or harbour this rule (called the I.A.L.A. system) is reversed, so the square or triangle symbols never change sides or meaning. Look at the sides of each Poetry Pillar for a red PORT or green STARBOARD symbol that sailors would recognise when travelling north along the Bay Trail; you can pretend you are sailing along a deep channel, instead of jogging on dry land!

Mornington Peninsula Shire funded these poetry pillars that were designed* by Safety Beach Foreshore Landscape Committee Inc., in 2016 (*copyright  T. McCullough).

There are 11 of these pillars with different ‘Jingles’ on each one. The pillars are spaced at intervals of about 200 metres apart, alongside the Bay Trail at Safety Beach foreshore. Marine Drive is parallel to the Bay Trail which runs from the south at Nepean Highway intersection, to the northern end at the Mt Martha cliffs (or Tassell’s Beach) opposite Bruce Road intersection, Martha Cove Marina’s channel entrance and S.B. Sailing Club building. 


School projects about recycled materials are available direct from REPLAS P/L 27 Carrum Downs, 3201 Victoria, or their website: www.replas.com.au   

For further information or questions write to: The Secretary, Safety Beach Foreshore Landscape Committee, 65 Victoria Street, Safety Beach, Victoria, 3934.