MOUNT Martha’s popular Birdrock Beach stairs are off limits for the time being, after erosion made the structure unstable and unsafe.
Sections of Fishermans and Mount Martha North beaches also remain closed due to erosion and fears of landslides or rock falls.
Disappointed residents have taken to social media to express their annoyance at not being able to use the Birdrock stairs, with summer in full swing and potentially two months of hot weather ahead.
Mornington Peninsulas Shire Council says its hands are tied in regard to foreshore infrastructure repairs and has blamed the state government.
Mornington Peninsula Shire’s water and coasts acting team leader Isabelle Spinks, said the council understood that the staircase is important to many people who use it to access the beach. “Unfortunately, the stair structure has been significantly eroded in several places and is not safe for public use,” she said.
“We are currently investigating options to remediate this issue.”
Like many cliff foreshore areas that need repair around the shire, the stairs have become increasingly unstable after around 12 months or more of heavy rain and strong winds.
Council is scrambling to attend all jobs, but beach users have been told they will have to be patient and use the ramp at Birdrock beach in the meantime.
The entire coastline is Crown land, belonging to the state government, and most repairs to infrastructure will need state government input.
The mayor Cr Steve Holland said a recent report commissioned by the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action identified cliff instability issues as a major public safety risk.
“We have requested that this report is released publicly, but those requests have been denied,” he said.
“We will continue to advocate to the state government on behalf of our community and hope that they will commit sufficient funding to remediate the ongoing erosion and cliff instability concerns.”