Work to restore a beach access staircase at Moyjil-Point Ritchie will begin this week.
The $215,000 project is being funded by Warrnambool City Council ($94,000) and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning ($121,000) and is being delivered in partnership with the Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation.
“Council understands that people have been looking forward to the access being restored,” Warrnambool Mayor Cr Tony Herbet said.
“We have ensured that the design responds to the harsh, changing coastal environment while also protecting the extraordinarily significant cultural place that is Moyjil.
“This project is also aligned to the Warrnambool 2040 community plan and a great opportunity to work with the Eastern Maar.”
Maar shell middens and other archaeological material unearthed in recent years have resulted in Moyjil becoming the subject of an Ongoing Protection Declaration, the highest level of protection available for Aboriginal cultural heritage in Victoria.
The new access project is a collaboration that also includes the Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation, the Registered Aboriginal Party for the area.
“Moyjil has been and remains a place of great significance for both Eastern Maar Citizens and everyone that lives or visits Warrnambool. We welcome the announcement that works will begin to further protect the significance of this place for everyone,” Eastern Maar General Manager Cultural Landscapes John Clarke said.
“We all have a stake in the protection of this old place. It is an old place. A human place; and one that we all can continue to enjoy.
“This project provides a formalised path from the dunes to the beach that protects the cultural heritage material across the rest of Moyjil.
“We’re asking people to respect the site, which is of great significance to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, while construction is under way.
“It’s important that people don’t try to create alternative paths through the dunes, which are included within the Ongoing Protection Declaration.”
People wanting to access the beach can use a ramp and stairs on the eastern side of the point.
The project is expected to take up to eight weeks, weather permitting.
The construction will involve head contractor Teleo Design from NSW, manufacturing by the Treadwell Group based in SA, Victorian contractors DJ and GA Gladman Drilling, Actif Concretors and Warrnambool companies PM Design, Joseph Land Surveying and Warrnambool Crane Hire.
The project is a recommendation of the Moyjil Point Ritchie Conservation Management Plan.