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NEWS DESK

Seawall to ‘save’ Portsea beach Keith Platt keith@mpnews.com.au

Skating success: Members of Sorrento’s Chamber of Commerce celebrate the lauch of the Sorrento Winter Pop-Up, Skating at Sorrento.

Ice skating is peninsula’s coolest event THE who’s who of the peninsula gathered at Sorrento on Friday 23 June to channel their inner “Torvill and Dean” at the launch of Sorrento’s winter pop-up, Skating at Sorrento. An ice skating rink rivalling that of Times Square and Paris has popped-up on Sorrento Foreshore from 23 June to 16 July. The rink, measuring 25m x 9m, is set by the picturesque bay between The Baths and Rotunda on Sorrento foreshore, with ice skaters able to enjoy the views while ice skating, day or evening, rain or shine. The Skating at Sorrento Ice Rink is a partnership between Sorrento Portsea Chamber of Commerce and Ice Rinks Australia, and is a first for the Mornington Peninsula. “We are so excited to have this new event in Sorrento”, says Natalie Garner, Sorrento Portsea Chamber of Commerce Business

Development Manager. “To be able to ice-skate right on the shores of our beautiful bay and then hit the village for a bite to eat, see a movie or enjoy some retail therapy is an awesome experience unrivalled by any other ice rink or winter activity.” The Skating at Sorrento ice rink is open Sunday to Thursday, 10am to 7pm, and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 9pm. Promoters are planning special themed skate sessions and group bookings are welcomed. Skate sessions will run for 45 minutes. Tickets available at www.sorrento.skatingat.com. au or at the box office at the rink. Discounts apply for on-line bookings and guarantee preferred skate session. Ticket prices: On-Line: Adults $20, Kids 3-13 yrs $14, Family $59 Box office (rink): Adults: $22, Kids $16, Family $62. Enquiries to info@skatingat.com.au

THE Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) is about to begin designing a rock seawall to provide “long term protection” to the foreshore and beach at Portsea. The department says other works will improve access to the beach east of the seawall. The decision to replace the existing sandbag seawall with a rock seawall follows the completion of an independent options assessment by consulting firm Advisian. Cost of the project is put at $3 million, well below the $20.42m estimate for the “permanent solution” option contained in the Advisian report. “The erosion at Portsea front beach is a complex issue and I understand the concerns of local businesses and residents who value the beach,” DELWP regional director (Port Phillip) Kelly Crosthwaite said. “In reviewing other options assessed and put forward by the community, we considered the high estimated costs involved, as well as their technical uncertainty and potential impact on other parts of the coast.” As reported in The News (“Portsea beach bill $20.42m” 10/4/17) the recommended of protecting Portsea beach from erosion for the next 50 years varied $2.2 million to $32.5m. Advisian said that only two of the five options tackled the causes of erosion along 400 metres of the beach near Portsea pier. The consultants warned that doing nothing and removing rocks and sand bags laid to protect the beach will “result in the loss of some existing

THE RYE HOTEL

foreshore buildings within 10 years”. If adopted by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) the preferred “configuration dredging” option would have cost an estimated $20.42m and taken three years to complete, including nine months of construction. “Of the options considered, only the dredged configuration and breakwater options address the primary cause of erosion at Portsea front beach,” the Advision report stated. “Groynes and sand nourishment options come with ongoing sand nourishment maintenance costs.” The five options and costings follow an earlier report in January 2016 and background notes provided by the department which acknowledged that swell waves from Bass Strait had caused Portsea’s sand loss but did not mention channel deepening in 2008-09, the biggest and most recent change to the Port Phillip seabed. Most of the beach was washed away in 2010 and the government then spent about $3 million to replace lost sand and protect the beach with sandbags and rocks. The authorities had repeatedly said the beach was destroyed by natural causes such as storms, higher sea levels and natural erosion (“Rocks for Portsea beach”, The News, 8/8/13). A Water Technologies’ report stated channel deepening had created channels that allowed larger, more powerful waves to sweep into the beach. The options assessment is available at https:// www.coastsandmarine.vic.gov.au/coastal-programs/portsea

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27 June 2017  

Southern Peninsula News 27 June 2017

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