February 2017: Shire starts work on Implementation Plan
The Shire is developing an Implementation Plan to execute the Council decision of January 24 2017. A Communication and Media Plan is to be prepared and executed in conjunction with the Implementation Plan.
January 2017: Council moves to protect The Pillars
A Special Council Meeting was held on Tuesday 24 January 2017 to consider the issues and the future of the site.
The Council decision was:
- That Option 3 (Close site via construction of a fence, with the addition of an Authorised Officer to promote awareness and educate any visitors on the need to close the Pillars for safety/environmental/cultural heritage reasons) be implemented.
- That an Implementation Plan is prepared and executed in line with Option 3. That a Communication and Media Plan be prepared and executed in conjunction with the Implementation Plan.
- Part B - That the Shire writes to Aboriginal Affairs Victoria seeking their direction to reinforce and protect the cultural heritage values in accordance with the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act.
- Part C - That the Shire writes to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, and the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, to seek their direction and advice on putting in place legal processes to prohibit public access to the Pillars.
- Part D - In the event that the Shire fails to gain support for the resolution of Council, that the Shire commences the process of handing back the Committee of Management responsibility to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning for the Pillars section of the Mount Martha Foreshore between Ellerina Road and Bay Road as detailed in Option 4 of the report.
- Part E - That fencing in Option 3 be installed as a temporary fence with outcomes reviewed through a report to Council after a trial period of two years.
Actions Completed to Date
- Implementation plan has been prepared and is currently being delivered.
- Letters have been sent to Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning, the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, and the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
- Shire officers working with Vic Roads on fencing and required offset from road.
The full report can be found in our Council Minutes.
Measures introduced to reduce impact
Mornington Peninsula Shire introduced a number of measures to reduce the impact of visitation to The Pillars on the site and surrounding area.
- Installation of ‘High Pedestrian Activity Nov-Apr’ warning signage on The Esplanade in the vicinity of The Pillars
- Cliff warning signage at The Pillars
- A six month trial ban on the consumption of alcohol in the vicinity of The Pillars
- ‘No Stopping, Nov-Apr’ parking restrictions were implemented on one side of the residential streets where demand for parking for The Pillars is in highest demand
- Bollards installed in strategic locations along The Esplanade to physically prevent parking and allow a space for pedestrians to walk
- VicRoads trimmed roadside vegetation along The Esplanade to create more space for pedestrians to walk along the road shoulder
- Regular patrols by Shire Rangers and Victoria Police
- Weekly litter collection in local streets (Deakin Drive and Marguerita Avenue)
- Obtained a $30,000 DELWP Public Access and Risk grant for the Pillars, and for the immediate risk management works and the preparation of a long term management plan for the area.
- Portable electronic warning signs on the Esplanade to reinforce the ‘High Pedestrian Activity Nov-Apr’ signage