Rocks off, so ‘no Portsea beach for summer’


THE rocks used to protect sandbag works at Portsea are being removed, despite Mornington Peninsula Shire having a plan to use them to bring sand back for summer. Picture: Yanni

ROCKS regarded as a vital to bringing sand back to Portsea’s badly eroded front beach have been removed.

Their removal by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) will ensure that “there’ll be no beach at Portsea” this summer, according to Mornington Peninsula Shire mayor Cr Sam Hearn.

He said the shire was “deeply disappointed” the rocks had not been left at the beach to be used as the foundation for an offshore groyne (“Rock groyne ‘key’ to $20m Portsea beach plan” The News 29/6/20).

“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,” Cr Hearn said.

He said the shire has been working directly with the state government through DELWP with the aim to bring sand permanently back to the beach.

Repairs to the sandbag wall were a temporary solution to prevent further erosion had involved constructing protective a rock bund.

Cr Hearn said the bund has “opened up the possibility” of using the rock to build a groyne “to encourage the beach to reform”.

“Despite [the shire’s] best efforts to work with DELWP to realise this cost effective solution, the rock bund is being removed at significant expense to the taxpayer 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,” Cr Hearn said.

The shire said that in September 2018, Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio had 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.”

Cr Hugh Fraser said the removal of the rocks “defies logic and is at odds with the Ms D’Ambrosio’s commitment for the government to investigate other options to bring the beach back”.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 28 July 2020


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