Rock bund key in restoration of ‘famous missing’ Portsea Beach

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Mornington Peninsula Shire Council has been working directly with the Victorian Government with the aim to develop a long-term solution for the return of the iconic Portsea Public Beach.

The former healthy and popular Victorian public beach, 30 metres wide and 600 metres long has disappeared over the past decade requiring a temporary sand bank wall to be erected to halt any further erosion. This sandbag wall is currently being repaired by DELWP to protect the coastline and provide time for further investigation into the restoration of the beach.

Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Sam Hearn, Nepean ward Councillors Hugh Fraser and Bryan Payne and John Baker CEO, with support from David Kramer from the Futurefish Foundation are leading the plan with DELWP and scientists to restore Portsea beach back to its former glory.

With the continued investigation to find a sustainable long term solution, a medium term option has presented itself, as a result of the current repair work.

As part of this process, a temporary rock bund was constructed to assist in preventing any damage to the sandbag wall during recent storm events.

Mayor Sam Hearn said that the rock protective bund opened up the possibility of repurposing the rock into a groyne, located to encourage the beach to reform.

“We 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”.

“The rock is due to be removed by DELWP at the conclusion of the wall repairs so this option seems like a cost effective, medium term solution to reinstate the beach for the community”.

Cost estimations for the construction of the rock groyne are modest compared to the long term option which may cost up to $20M.

The Shires long term preferred option involves moving a significant amount of sand to create a nearshore configuration in an area offshore from the beach that will reduce wave action and energy on the Portsea Beach and sand movement. Together with significant sand replenishment once the dredging is complete; the experts are pointing to a return of the iconic beach with immediate settling of conditions once the works are complete.

Cr Hugh Fraser said “The Victorian community want their Portsea beach restored. This approach will bring the beach back in the medium term and give us time to work further on a sustainable long term solution”.

Cr Bryan Payne concluded “Efforts to restore Portsea beach back to its former glory have hit a rock wall!. This cost effective solution gives us hope that Portsea will once again have a beach while we continue to explore future options”.

This approach also has the support of Member for Nepean, Chris Brayne and Shadow Attorney General, Ed O’Donahue.

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