FLINDERS MP Greg Hunt has waded into the debate over saving an historic wooden section of Flinders pier.
Mr Hunt says it is “essential that any historical and environmental impacts are meticulously considered” by the state government which has earmarked a 180 metre section of the pier for demolition.
Nepean MP Chris Brayne said the pier issue would be open to “a 60 day community consultation in the near future”.
“When this opens, I’ll be advising the whole Flinders community to submit their views on the pier,” he said.
Charles Reis, of Flinders Community Association, says the pier fell into disrepair because Parks Victoria “failed to undertake proper maintenance as it should. [It] failed to detect a leaking galvanised pipe that caused one of the piles to collapse and the pier to be closed” (“Pier ‘fact sheet’ taken” The News 26/10/21).
Mr Hunt, who is not standing at the federal election expected in May, last week said that the Liberal candidate for his seat shared his support of the campaign to save Flinders pier.
“Perhaps even more importantly, my successor as the Liberal candidate for Flinders, Zoe McKenzie, is incredibly passionate about saving Flinders pier,” he said.
“I have made representations to the [state] Minister for Ports and Freight, Melissa Horne to make her aware of the concerns held by many in our community.”
The new State Liberal Member for Eastern Victoria, Cathrine Burnett-Wake has also weighed into the save Flinders pier issue by visiting the pier and in a Facebook post.
“Flinders Pier holds a special place in the hearts of its local community,” Ms Burnett-Wake said.
“I strongly support the conservation of our important heritage sites and marine ecosystems to ensure future generations can enjoy them as much as we have.”
Flinders Community Association says plans to demolish the old wooden section of the pier were first revealed in leaked documents. The association has since applied for the pier to be heritage listed.
A heritage review by Heritage Victoria is expected to be completed by June.
“The pier attracts nearly 500,000 visitors per year and contributes $8million to $10million to communities across the Mornington Peninsula,” Mr Reis said.
“We have a small museum at the pier, run by volunteers, which celebrates the pier’s unique contribution to our history. To pull down the very thing that the museum is dedicated to, makes no sense.”
Details about the Save Flinders Pier campaign were on display at last weekend’s McCrae Seaside Scavenge which saw several hundred people collect about 240kg of debris from the beach.
Mr Reis said community groups across the peninsula should “join together” on issues that affect everyone.
He said the planned demolition at Flinders pier and the closure of the outer section of the Dromana pier were connected.
“The one common theme is the absence of consultation and poor communication before decisions are made.”