THE Heritage Council of Victoria has added Flinders pier to the State Heritage Register.
The pier, originally built in 1866 and re-aligned in the early 1970s, now joins the likes of Station and Queenscliff piers by having its historical significance formally recognised and protected under the state’s heritage controls.
The pier was due to be demolished last February, but relentless community pressure forced a government backflip in May, resulting in a state budget allocation of $1.5million for emergency repairs.
Chairperson of the Save Flinders Pier campaign, Charles Reis, said the heritage listing delivered certainty to the pier’s future and put a line underneath the campaign, which garnered widespread support from around the world.
“Recognition of the Flinders pier on the State Heritage Register brings obligations for the preservation and maintenance of the full 320-metre structure,” he said.
“Heritage listing should now ensure that this valuable maritime asset will be maintained and preserved for future generations of Victorians.”
Parks Victoria announced in July that engineering studies of Flinders pier were complete, but Reis said there had been no update since on the tender process or when contractors were likely to start work.
Reis urged the state government to start repairs quickly.
“The important lesson we learnt as a small coastal community is that we have a voice,” he said.
“And if we underpin our voice with sensible reasoning and amplify it enough, the government will listen, our state has dozens of coastal and inland piers and jetties in need of repair, each with a story and history unique to its location.
“Victoria needs a strategy that recognises the value of these piers, and Parks Victoria needs adequate funding to protect them.”
The inclusion of Flinders pier on the State Heritage Register concludes a campaign that drew in nearly 45,000 supporters, including Sir David Attenborough, who spoke out in support of protecting the pier’s habitat for the weedy seadragon.
Flinders pier is the first pier on the Mornington Peninsula to be listed on the State Heritage Register.