RESIDENTS involved in the Save Flinders Pier campaign have welcomed the planning being undertaken by Parks Victoria to restore the historic structure, despite the pier not being expected to fully open over summer.
It is believed the Flinders Foreshore Precinct Conservation Management Plan needs to be reviewed and reworked to accommodate the pier’s restoration and reflect Heritage Victoria’s mandate to protect the state’s important heritage assets.
Spokesman for the Save the Flinders Pier campaign, Charles Reis, said Parks Victoria had committed money for the pier’s safety works, but the complexity of the project required time and commitment.
“While funding for safety works to Flinders pier has been committed, this is a complex project given the pier’s recent heritage listing,” he said.
“Over the past six months we’ve been working through the necessary steps to start work as expediently as possible. This includes identifying and outlining the best options for critical repairs within the $1.53 budget allocation.
“Prior to deciding on the preferred repair option, to reflect the pier’s inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register, the Flinders Foreshore Precinct Conservation Management Plan has required revision.
“We’ve been working closely with Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to conduct and finalise the revision of the precinct’s CMP. The revised CMP will incorporate the pier’s recent listing on the Victoria Heritage Register and provide valuable guidance on the future management of the pier, with respect to its heritage values.”
Public comment had been invited and would be incorporated into the revision process which is being finalised ready for presentation and formal adoption by council in September.
The initial December construction date could not be met and there was a requirement for Parks Victoria to seek statutory permits, including from Heritage Victoria, to work on the pier.
Parks Victoria says it cannot provide an accurate delivery timeline but “will share a project timeline with the community and stakeholders of Flinders pier as soon as we can”.
The first 180-metres of the 327-metre-long pier was reconstructed in 2010-2011 and closures only apply to its duplicated timber inner approach section. Pedestrians can access and use the full 327 metre length of the pier.
Reis said he had been assured that the pier was being regularly monitored and was not in imminent danger of failure.
“I share the community’s frustration that the required repairs haven’t yet happened; but once the scope of works is finalised, I think we will have a much better sense of when the historic timber pier will be finally restored and re-opened to the public,” he said.
The original Flinders pier was built in the 1860s and most recently replaced in 1970.