Pier bill nears million mark Neil Walker email@example.com REPAIRS to Seaford Pier will cost $900,000 so it can be fully reopened to the public. State Carrum Labor MP Sonya Kilkenny announced last Wednesday (23 May) that restoration works to replace damaged poles at the pier end will begin after a procurement process to contract out the works. “Seaford Pier is a local treasure that everyone should be able to enjoy – these works will allow local residents and visitors to enjoy the Pier for years to come,” Ms Kilkenny said in a statement. “We are in the early stages of planning and will continue to update the community as we progress through this process.” The funding announcement comes after The Times reported the end of Seaford Pier has been fenced off since late 2016 (“Pier end closed for over year”, The Times 13/3/18). It was closed due to safety concerns since pylons were damaged. Seaford resident Darren Gyss told The Times in March that he had been chasing Parks Victoria for more than a year for an answer on when the pier would be repaired and reopened. Ms Kilkenny’s latest announcement comes a month after a slick video by the MP on Facebook with the hashtag #onyasonya announcing “Terrific news — we’re going to fix Seaford pier”. Frankston North-West Ward coun-
cillor Kris Bolam noted there is still no timeline on when the Seaford pier will be reopened. “There has been a lot of ‘back-patting’ going on but little detail insofar actually getting the work done,” Cr Bolam said. “I speak for many Seaford residents when I say I’d love to see the pier fully revamped and reopened as soon as possible. “I am also concerned, like many residents are, about the gaps in the wooden sleepers along the entirety of the pier. Will these also be addressed?” Parks Victoria chief operating officer Simon Talbot said last week: “The funding announced by the Victorian government will reopen the pier, ensuring it remains accessible for the community.” The pier was built in the late 1920s and featured in a scene in the 1979 Mad Max movie starring Mel Gibson as the subsequently iconic road warrior embroiled in motorcycle gang feuds amid a dystopian future in Australia with sparse fuel sources. The cult classic that launched the career of director George Miller had a budget of about $400,000.
Pier pressure: Seaford residents have been lobbying the state government to have Seaford Pier repaired and fully reopened. Picture: Gary Sissons
Bay baby boom A SURVEY of baby snapper in Port Phillip has recorded the highest count in 26 years, surpassing previous peaks in 2001 and 2004. Victorian Fisheries Authority boss Travis Dowling said the baby snapper boom would herald an “unprecedented influx” of small snapper in 2022 and bigger snapper – over 40cm – in 2025. “Our fisheries scientists have never seen baby snapper numbers as good as this in all the years they have been conducting the surveys,” Mr Dowling said. “Port Phillip is the most important spawning area for snapper in central and western Victoria so this is very good news for anglers who love catching this iconic fish. “Scientists undertake the annual surveys of baby snapper in late March and know to expect variation in spawning success depending on environmental conditions. “The survey measures the abundance of newborn snapper 3-10cm that have survived through the recent spring-summer spawning season. Anglers will notice exceptionally high numbers of undersize snapper over the next few years in Port Phillip Bay, Western Port, and central/western coastal waters. “It’s important that these undersize snapper are handled with care and released as soon as possible to maximise their survival, which is typically high. “The minimum legal size for snapper in Victoria is 28cm, and the daily per-person bag limit is 10, of which only three can be 40cm or over.” Mr Dowling said the snapper baby boom complemented excellent King George whiting numbers recently, too, which “bodes well for a thriving bay fishery in the years ahead”. “The state government’s Target One Million plan is also bringing an end to all commercial net fishing in Port Phillip Bay by 2022, which will mean more snapper and whiting for recreational anglers and their families,” he said. See vfa.vic.gov.au/targetonemillion
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28 May 2018
Frankston Times 28 May 2018