Southern Peninsula News 28 July 2020

Page 3

Rocks off, so ‘no Portsea beach for summer’

More testing sites

Keith Platt ROCKS regarded as a vital to bringing sand back to Portsea’s badly eroded front beach have been removed. Their removal by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) will ensure that “there’ll be no beach at Portsea” this summer, according to Mornington Peninsula Shire mayor Cr Sam Hearn. He said the shire was “deeply disappointed” the rocks had not been left at the beach to be used as the foundation for an offshore groyne (“Rock groyne ‘key’ to $20m Portsea beach plan” The News 29/6/20). “The shire had the concept scientifically modelled by coastal and ocean engineering consultancy Water Technology and the results indicated a groyne would promote an increased accumulation of sand and the restoration of the beach,” Cr Hearn said. He said the shire has been working directly with the state government through DELWP with the aim to bring sand permanently back to the beach. Repairs to the sandbag wall were a temporary solution to prevent further erosion had involved constructing protective a rock bund. Cr Hearn said the bund has “opened up the possibility” of using the rock to build a groyne “to encourage the beach to reform”. “Despite [the shire’s] best efforts to work with DELWP to realise this cost effective solution, the rock bund is being removed at significant expense to the taxpayer and we are back to square one.”

THE rocks used to protect sandbag works at Portsea are being removed, despite Mornington Peninsula Shire having a plan to use them to bring sand back for summer. Picture: Yanni “There’ll be no beach at Portsea for the community this summer and we are deeply disappointed that this sensible option has been rejected out of hand,” Cr Hearn said. The shire said that in September 2018, Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily

D’Ambrosio had confirmed her “previous commitment to further investigate other options that will facilitate the return of the sandy beach at Portsea and note that the implementation of these repair works will not preclude the investigation or implementation of any other options which may be deter-

mined as being feasible in returning a sandy beach to Portsea in the future.” Cr Hugh Fraser said the removal of the rocks “defies logic and is at odds with the Ms D’Ambrosio’s commitment for the government to investigate other options to bring the beach back”.

TWO extra sites have opened to boost COVID-19 testing capacity on the Mornington Peninsula. Peninsula Health has opened a Dromana pop-up test site at Dromana Community Hall, 359 Point Nepean Road, Dromana. It’s open 8.30am3.30pm, Monday 27 to Wednesday 29 July. A Flinders pop-up test site is at Flinders Civic Hall, 54-56 Cook Street, Flinders. It’s open Thursday 30 July to Sunday 2 August with times to be advised. These are additional to existing testing clinics on the peninsula. Nepean MP Chris Brayne thanked members of the community for “following the rules during these difficult times and getting tested”. “Remember, if you have the slightest of symptoms, get tested,” he said. “If we continue to social distance, wear a mask, and get tested when we feel unwell, we will beat this virus.” Other Peninsula Health testing sites are at: au/2020/03/20/covid-19-coronavirusscreening-clinic-information/ On Sunday (26 July) the peninsula, with 80 recorded cases (13 active) of COVID-19 was the 25th highest in the state’s local government areas. Frankston with 74 cases (28 active) was 26th. The Department of Health and Human Services does not release numbers for individual towns on the peninsula or Frankston city. The state, on Sunday, recorded 10 deaths due to COVID-19, the highest one-day tally in Australia. At the same time there were 459 new cases, bringing the state’s total to 8181.

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29 July 2020


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