End of summer, The Pillars report

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The popularity of The Pillars, a cliff jumping spot at Mt Martha, has led to the banning of alcohol, restricted car parking, dire warnings of death or injury and “the wall” – a fence to try and stop entry.

Mornington Peninsula Shire, which has used its officers to book errant motorists and drones to count the number of people on the cliffs as well as paying for the hire of the fence, has called a public meeting for Wednesday 10 April to discuss a “permanent solution” to the problematic tourist attraction.

The Pillars has also become a political issue with Labor’s candidate for Flinders Joshua Sinclair saying the 400 metre “temporary” fence should be replaced by a boardwalk (“Pillars a poll issue” The News 26/3/19).

A shire news release states that the public meeting will enable residents to “hear about the measures undertaken over the 2018/19 summer period and provide feedback about your experiences about The Pillars during summer peak period”.

“Council continues to work hard to protect the safety of people and the amenity of the area for our residents,” the mayor Cr David Gill said. “We look forward to meeting with the community to hear your concerns and to discuss the management of issues relating to usage of the site.”

As with most ward-related news releases each of the three Briars ward councillors are also quoted.

Cr Bev Colomb: “We thank everyone for engaging with us on this often difficult matter as we all try to work toward protecting this unique environment and manage all the issues.”

Cr Sam Hearn: “Council is aware of issues local residents face regarding The Pillars, especially during the warmer months. This will be a great opportunity to talk about how we are working towards solving these issues.”

Cr Rosie Clark: “This project has been shaped by the community voicing their concerns about inappropriate behaviour at The Pillars. We look forward to continuing our efforts with the community and relevant stakeholders to push for the area to be made safer and be more respected.”

Views or issues about The Pillars can be lodged online at mornpen.vic.gov.au/thepillars. The public meeting will be held 5.30pm-6.30pm at the council chambers, 2 Queen Street, Mornington.

First published in the Mornington News – 2 April 2019

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