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Fisherman’s Jetty – Time for action

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Legislative Assembly 10 March 2022

Mr MORRIS (Mornington) (17:22): (6274) I raise a matter for the Minister for Ports and Freight this evening, and the action I am seeking from the minister is that she direct her department to work with the Mornington Yacht Club and Parks Victoria to facilitate the transfer of responsibility for the management of Fisherman’s Jetty at Mornington harbour from Parks Victoria to the Mornington Yacht Club.

I raised this matter just a little over a year ago in this house.

Fisherman’s Jetty is a small jetty, in Mornington harbour. It is a relatively minor piece of infrastructure but beloved by many. It has been closed, because its structural integrity has been compromised, since 2020. In March last year I raised the issue. The response I got back was:

… the local port manager … is sometimes required to restrict access to assets, such as has occurred at Fisherman’s Jetty …

Works and planning for Fisherman’s Jetty are considered for funding and prioritised for investment along with other marine assets.

In other words, do not hold your breath.

Well, the Mornington Yacht Club, being experienced in managing this harbour, having managed assets in the harbour for many years, are realistic about the chances of obtaining funding, and they have advised me that they are very much aware that Fisherman’s Jetty is, in their words, not a current priority under the Sustainable Local Ports Framework.

There are 150 or so wharves and other similar infrastructure across the state that require maintenance, and Fisherman’s Jetty just is not going to make it onto that list.
They have had the jetty assessed and they have confirmed that since its construction in 1990 there has been no maintenance, so the jetty is literally falling apart. That is why it is closed. They are, however, prepared to take over responsibility both for the initial repairs to get the jetty back into a fit condition and for maintaining the asset—maintaining a public asset.

A private yacht club is prepared to maintain the asset and maintain access for the public to the facility. But of course these wheels move slowly.

Parks Victoria is the local ports manager. The footprint that the yacht club has in the area does not include Fisherman’s Jetty, and that needs to change.

So I am seeking from the minister the cooperation of her department and Parks Victoria to work with the yacht club so that this public asset can be repaired and reopened and made available to the public again.