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Shire Hall Beach – Time for action!

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Mr MORRIS (Mornington) (19:17): (4814) I raise a matter this evening for the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change.

Last sitting week I raised the issue of the Mount Martha north beach renourishment program that is going on there, funded by the federal government and implemented by the state government, and expressed some concerns about logistical and consultative issues and the arrangements that have been put in place for that.

This week I raise another beach renourishment issue, and the issue with that one is that it is not progressing at all.

That is at Shire Hall Beach in Mornington.

The action I am seeking from the minister is that she urgently initiate a beach renourishment program at Shire Hall Beach in Mornington. I raised this issue in February 2017, and I said at the time, in the context of a question:

Shire Hall Beach is a small and lovely beach at the fringe of the Mornington Harbour precinct. Sadly the usually pleasant sandy aspect is currently nothing more than a collection of exposed rocks, totally unsuitable for the families and children that usually frequent the area.

I went on to ask what action the minister was taking to ensure that there was no further degradation of the beach.

The minister responded a bit over a month later, and in her response she talked about the impact of works that were undertaken in 2007 on Mornington Pier when a wave wall was put in, which had an impact on the hydrodynamic processes, the coastal processes within the harbour and the movement of sand from Shire Hall Beach to Mothers Beach.

She went on to say that Parks Victoria had been working with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to investigate the conditions and that a monitoring program was in place that would allow agencies and the community to monitor changes but most importantly to inform future plans for beach renourishment in this area.

Unfortunately three-and-a-half years on I think the time to formulate those plans and to fund them—in fact to carry them out—is probably long gone, but nothing has occurred.

Last Friday I received an email from a constituent who told me that he was still concerned about the state of the beach, as am I, hoping that beach renourishment could be done and naming a Parks Vic staff member who had suggested that some dredging was about to occur and that the sand may be utilised from that process.

Now, I do not know whether that is appropriate or not; there have certainly been issues in the past there. But I make the point that summer is almost upon us.

The government acknowledged three-and-a-half years ago that there was an issue and said that renourishment would be occurring. It has not occurred, so I ask the minister to intervene and make sure it does.