The State Government’s removal of a rock bund at Portsea beach has been described by Mornington Peninsula Shire as a missed opportunity to restore the popular attraction. The bund was removed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning despite scientific modelling obtained by the Shire that showed building a groyne with rocks from the bund would have directed sand towards the shore to restore the beach.
“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,” said Mayor Sam Hearn. “Despite our best efforts to work with DELWP to realise this cost-effective solution, the rock bund has been removed at significant expense to the taxpayer and we are back to square one.”
In September 2018, Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio asked the council to work with DELWP and confirmed her “previous commitment to further investigate other options that will facilitate the return of the sandy beach at Portsea”.
Cr Hugh Fraser said: “DELWP’s removal of the rock bund defies logic and is at odds with (Ms D’Ambrosio’s) commitment for the government to investigate other options to bring the beach back. I am very disappointed that this achievable plan has been totally frustrated.”
Cr Bryan Payne added: “It’s been close to two years since the Minister gave her commitment to us to restore the beach, and here we are in 2020 with waves still crashing into a temporary sandbag wall. This has been a wasted opportunity that ultimately denies locals and visitors the opportunity to enjoy a great public amenity.”
The Shire said it was committed to returning the public beach to its former glory and would continue to work with DELWP and the Government to secure a long-term solution.