10 December 2019

Page 5

NEWS DESK

Millions poured into beach sand MILLIONS of dollars in taxpayers’ money is being spent restoring two Mornington Peninsula beaches despite experts being unable to find a permanent solution to sand loss. At Portsea, heavy machinery is being used to build a rock wall to protect workers repairing a sandbag sea wall first installed in 2010. At Rosebud, 20,000 cubic metres of sand will be dredged from offshore sandbars and used to renourish two beaches. Rosebud West beach is impassable at high tide and beach boxes have been undermined while the Bay Trail boardwalk has been washed by waves east of the pier. Within four weeks thousands of tonnes of sand will be carted from Mt Martha South Beach to restore sand lost from Mt Martha Beach North. The exercise - paid for with a $1. 5 million election promise made by Flinders MP Greg Hunt – replicates a similar movement of sand in 2010, which was all but gone within three years. DELWP last week said taking sand from end of Mt Martha beach to the other was “a short-term measure”. The works would take three to four weeks and would start when money came through from the federal Environmental Restoration Fund. Although heavy rocks have already been placed against the eroding cliff base at Mt Martha North, the most recent expert report commissioned by the state government could find no way to “restore sand or prevent erosion in the short or long-term along the entirety of the beach” (“Beach repairs

Rocky road: While diggers position rocks to provide a protection barrier for workers on the sandbag sea wall and beach box owners at Mt Martha North wait for sand from the south, sand is also sadly lacking at Safety Beach. Pictures: Gary Sissons (Portsea) and Keith Platt

could cost $4m” The News 30/10/17). “The Victorian government had allocated funding to address erosion at Mt Martha North, and if any of the engineering options in the report had been found to be feasible and effective, they would have been implemented,” land and build environment programs regional manager Dick Ford said. In early November Mr Hunt said the state government was indicating it was willing to “reconsider its position” and would implement the replenishment program while developing a long-term plan (“Lifeline for Mt Martha North beach” The News 11/11/19). A check of Safety Beach near Dromana last Thursday showed that it too was shrinking in width, although

no government agency has yet offered any help. Meanwhile, a big yellow digger continues to position rocks at Portsea for a temporary rock bund that will be removed when the sandbag wall was completed early next year. Work is taking place Monday to Saturday but will stop before Christmas and throughout January and will restart at the beginning of February. Land and built environment program manager John Downs said pedestrians could use the pier during the works and the beach could be reached using scaffold stairs until workers start removing sandbags or if safety becomes an issue. The temporary bund was necessary because of damaging wave and weath-

M. & A. EGAN Our Christmas Service, is at 9.00 a.m.

Wednesday, 25th December 2019. All are welcome to worship with us. Dromana Presbyterian Church Corner Pier and Gibson Streets. Minister: Rev. Frank Savage Ph: 0400 993 343

“I bring you good news that will cause great joy for everyone. Today in the town of David, a Saviour has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 1:30-32)

Licensed Plumber & Gasfitter Lic No: 22042

461 Dundas St, Rye, 3941. PO Box 101, Rye, 3941.

MOB: 0418 301 980

m.eganplumbing@gmail.com

er conditions, combined with greater than anticipated sand loss in front of the sandbag seawall over winter. “The sandbag wall was established in 2010 and has since helped protect the Portsea foreshore against the impacts of storm surges, waves, tides and wind,” DELWP Port Phillip regional director Stephen Chapple said. “The outer layer of the wall is in poor condition as a result of wear and tear over time. The repair works will see the front face of the sandbag wall replaced to ensure it continues to provide protection to the foreshore.” DELWP’s initial plans for a permanent $3 million rock wall were successfully resisted by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council in mid-2018.

The shire at that time called on the state government to first find a solution to the disappearing sand which has receded 25-30 metres along 600 metres of beach. The shire said a permanent rock revetment outlined in a 2016 study by consultants Advisian “by itself will achieve erosion protection but will not guarantee the return of this iconic beach”. Two months later the state government postponed building a permanent rock wall which then-mayor Cr Bryan Payne dismissed as “the final environmental nail in the coffin [which would] permanently destroy the beach”. (“Restore our beach: council demands” The News 4/9/18). Stephen Taylor and Keith Platt

fragments DROMANA

Manchester, Towels and Bedding

END OF LEASE CLOSING DOWN

SALE

2ST0O%REWOIFDFE *ONLY A FEW EXCEPTIONS

205 POINT NEPEAN ROAD, DROMANA 5983 5149

LUNCH

BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL 5985 7222

THE RYE HOTEL 2415 Point Nepean Road, Rye Ph: 5985 7222 ENJOY DRINKS IN FRONT OF THE OPEN FIRE Southern Peninsula News

11 December 2019

PAGE 3


Millions discover their favorite reads on issuu every month.

Give your content the digital home it deserves. Get it to any device in seconds.