Flinders Jetty - Timber inner section removal

Project duration & key stages

Stage 1 – New jetty section build  
Construction of new concrete jetty: 2011 (complete)  

Stage 2 – Old jetty section closure  
Closure of inner timber section of old jetty: April 2020 (complete)  

Stage 3 – Old jetty section removal  
Planning and impact assessments: March to June 2021 (underway)  
Community engagement: July to August 2021  
Statutory approvals: September 2021 to January 2022  
Recommended approach announced and tender for works: January 2022  
Work commences: February 2022  
Work completed: June 2022  
 

Project funding

The final stage of the Flinders Jetty redevelopment is part of the $11.6 million Victorian Government Better Piers and Waterside Facilities package to make the Flinders Jetty safe.

 

Project partner

Department of Transport

 

Key information

Parks Victoria is planning the removal of a duplicated 180 metre inner timber section of the old Flinders Jetty to ensure the safety of all visitors.

Part of the timber inner section of Flinders Jetty has slumped in multiple areas and has been assessed as unsafe for pedestrian and vehicle access with significant risk of structural failure. It was subsequently closed in April 2020. This section needs to be removed safely before it falls into the water and becomes a navigational hazard or potentially injures those beneath it. An additional section of the old inner section of the jetty will also be removed.

Removal of the 180 metre section will not impact recreational or commercial user access to the full 327 metre jetty experience currently available. Pedestrians and vehicles can continue to use the adjacent concrete deck built in 2011 to access the first landing, then cross over to the structurally sound timber section extending to the jetty head.

Funding to demolish the duplicated timber section of Flinders Jetty was committed by the Victorian Government in July 2020 under the $11.6 million Better Piers and Waterside Facilities package. The old jetty inner timber section removal will complete the last stage of the jetty redevelopment project and make it safe for all visitors.

Parks Victoria is preparing impact assessment reports, including statutory, heritage and marine and coastal implications, to carefully consider the potential impacts of removal and inform the preferred approach and assist in the application for relevant statutory and other approvals. The community will have the opportunity to participate in community engagement as part of the preliminary planning and statutory referral stages of the project.

A long-term sustainable approach to the future management of the jetty that delivers the best outcome now and for many years to come is the primary goal of the project.

 

Background information

Piers and jetties play an important role for businesses and local communities and, given the large portfolio of maritime assets, the government must consider competing priorities for their repair and renewal. The Victorian Government made significant investments, including the $24 million investment in piers and jetties as part of the $2.7 billion economic stimulus initiative. As part of the Building Works initiative, funding has been provided to demolish the unsafe inner section of the old jetty.

The jetty, managed by Parks Victoria, was duplicated in 2011 with a new jetty constructed alongside the old between the central vehicle turnaround and the shore. This included constructing a new 3.2m wide concrete jetty, increasing the jetty’s load capacity and improving separation between authorised vehicles and pedestrians.

The timber inner section was closed in April 2020 for public safety due to significant risk of structural failure but was retained to minimise disturbance to marine life while marine growth recolonised on the steel piles of the new jetty section. This closure extends from the timber jetty’s entrance for approximately 180 metres. The full length of the timber inner section has not been closed, allowing access to ladders and moored boats.

The original jetty was built in the 1860s and then replaced in 1970. The current day jetty retains little of the original materials with the present configuration representative only of the former structure. Substantial modifications have taken place that include removal of the tramway, timber railing and seating; replacement of the decking; removal of the landing at the northern end of the jetty and alteration of the width and landings. As a result, it is the alignment of the jetty rather than the fabric itself that is considered to be of primary heritage significance. The jetty is also associated with other foreshore elements including the former cargo shed, slipway, former cable station and timber shed.

Today Flinders Jetty is a popular place for walking, diving/snorkelling, angling and boating. It is also home to the Western Port aquaculture industry and an important local ports facility for the Port Phillip Sea Pilots.

Flinders Jetty

Frequently asked questions

 

Why does the inner timber section of jetty need to be removed?


The inner timber section of jetty is at the end of its structural life and is proposed to be safely removed prior to complete failure or collapse causing a navigational hazard or potentially injuring those beneath it. As the condition of the decking and piles continues to deteriorate due to age and weather exposure, it will become an ongoing risk to public safety and a financial burden. Removal of this section would allow resources to be focused on continual improvement of the concrete deck, berthing facilities and outer timber section extending from the northern landing to the jetty head, rather than maintaining an unsafe asset and one that no longer serves a purpose for port operations. Any effort to repair this failing section of jetty would be costly and only provide a short-term solution.  

What impact will removing the timber inner section have on the marine life in the area?  

Parks Victoria is committed to protecting the significant marine ecosystem that exists below Flinders Jetty. We know many incredible marine species live below the jetty, including the State’s Marine Emblem, the Weedy Seadragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus). Parks Victoria has commissioned a Flinders Jetty Marine Ecology Survey and Jetty Removal Impact Assessment. These reports will describe the marine life under the jetty and identify any potential impacts of jetty removal to the marine life at that location, along with mitigation strategies. They will also inform the methodology and applications for approvals such as the planning permit from the Mornington Peninsula Shire and Marine and Coastal consent from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.  

What impact will removing the timber inner section have on the heritage values of the area?  

Parks Victoria recognises the heritage value the jetty contributes to precinct character and is committed to ensuring these values are preserved through appropriate management. While the Flinders Jetty (old and new section), is not listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, a portion of the jetty is covered under the Mornington Peninsula Heritage Overlay. Any proposed changes or development are subject to Planning Approval from the Mornington Peninsula Shire. Parks Victoria has commissioned a Heritage Impact Assessment to take the significance of this asset into account when considering the proposed removal of the old jetty. It will inform the methodology and applications for relevant approvals such as the planning permit application.  

Why hasn’t/won’t Parks Victoria maintain the timber inner section of the jetty?  

In 2010-11, Parks Victoria undertook a $2 million redevelopment at Flinders Jetty. This included constructing the 3.2 metre-wide concrete deck parallel to the timber jetty, increasing the jetty’s load capacity and service to the commercial and recreational fleet. At the time of redevelopment, Parks Victoria did not remove the redundant timber inner section as it still had some service life, with the added benefit of reducing the environmental impact of construction on marine plants and animals while marine growth recolonised on the new piles. The future removal of the inner section was identified as a requirement at that time. A long-term sustainable approach to the future management of the jetty that delivers the best outcome now and for many years to come is the primary goal of the project.  

Why not use the funds to repair the jetty rather than demolish the old section?   

The old section of jetty was rebuilt in the 1970s. Due to sustained exposure to harsh conditions, the life of a timber jetty is traditionally 30 – 50 years. The old section of jetty has reached the end of its life and failing, having been in place for just over 50 years. Any effort to repair this failing section of jetty would be costly and only provide a short-term solution. As the port manager, Parks Victoria has determined this asset is no longer required for its port operations following the construction of the concrete jetty section.  
 
Why has the timber inner section of jetty been considered unsafe?

The inner section of the timber Jetty was closed in April 2020 to protect public safety due to deterioration of the piles and deck, and needs to be removed safely prior to complete failure or collapse. This section has slumped in multiple sections and has been assessed as unsafe for pedestrian and vehicle access with significant risk of structural failure.

Can I still access the end of Flinders Jetty?  

Yes. The closure of the timber inner section does not impact access or use of Flinders Jetty. Pedestrians and vehicles can use the adjacent concrete deck to access the first landing, then cross over to the structurally sound timber section extending to the jetty head to experience the full 327 metre length of the jetty.  
 
What section of the jetty is proposed to be removed?  

The section of jetty being considered for removal is the 180 metres of inner timber section from the foreshore to first landing. The jetty on this alignment was originally constructed in 1864, although very little of the original material remains with substantial modifications and repairs made over the years.  

 

Diagram showing sections that would be retained and removed.  Measurements are estimates only.

When will the closed timber inner section be removed?  

Parks Victoria is currently reviewing the potential impacts of removal, including all statutory approval requirements, as well as heritage, marine and coastal, amenity and financial implications to inform the methodology and scope. Removal is subject to statutory planning approvals. The process from planning through to approvals and works is expected to take approximately 12 months.  

Is Flinders Jetty heritage listed?  

No, Flinders Jetty (old and new section) is not listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. Through the local planning scheme, the Mornington Peninsula Heritage Overlay (HO330), does include a portion of the jetty.  

What is the extent of the heritage value of the jetty?  

The original Flinders Jetty was built in the 1860s and replaced in the 1970s. The current jetty structure has elements dating back to reconstruction from the 1980s and 90s, and it retains little of the original materials or components representing the 1866-69 construction. The present configuration is only a representation of the former structure. Substantial modifications have taken place that include removal of the tramway, timber railing and seating; replacement of the decking; removal of the landing at the northern end of the jetty and alteration of the width and landings. As a result, it is the alignment of the jetty rather than the fabric itself that is considered to be its primary heritage significance. The jetty is also associated with other foreshore elements including the former cargo shed, slipway, former cable station and timber shed.  

What approvals are required to remove the timber inner section of jetty?  

As the jetty is subject to a heritage overlay, planning approval to demolish the jetty is required from the relevant statutory planning authority which is the Mornington Peninsula Shire. Marine and Coastal Act Consent from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is also required given the Crown Land status and coastal proximity of the asset. Parks Victoria will also assess whether a referral under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Commonwealth) is required. Parks Victoria is required to undertake community engagement as part of the application process.  
 
Is it safe to walk or swim underneath the closed section of jetty?  

Yes, for now. Closure of part of the timber inner section has removed loading on the jetty reducing the likelihood of significant or catastrophic structural failure in the immediate future.  

How are the works being funded?  

The Victorian Government has committed $24.4 million through its Piers and Jetties Stimulus Packages to upgrading and maintaining key jetties and piers across Victoria. These projects were announced as part of the government’s $2.7 billion Building Works economic stimulus initiative and form a key part of the $328.4 million Victorian Government investment in critical freight, boating, public transport and roads maintenance which will create or support more than 600 jobs as we recover from the coronavirus crisis.  

The jetty and pier projects include:  

• Better Piers and Waterside Facilities package: $11.6 million for upgrades and maintenance of piers in Port Phillip including Altona, Middle Brighton, Queenscliff South Piers, and the demolition of the inner section of the old Flinders Jetty in Western Port.  
• Portarlington Harbour Upgrade: $9.6 million upgrade of Portarlington Pier.  
• Pier and Jetty Maintenance package: $3.2 million upgrade of Rye Pier, Port Welshpool Marginal Wharf, Portland Trawler Wharf pontoon and Tooradin Jetty.  

This $24.4 million investment will create local jobs, provide an economic injection to regional areas and see a long-term boost for the fishing, aquaculture and tourism industries as we rebuild from the coronavirus pandemic.  

How can I have my say?  

The community will have the opportunity to participate in community engagement opportunities as part of the preliminary planning and statutory referral stages of the project. Details on how to participate will be announced in the coming weeks as the project progresses. To register your interest in attending a Parks Victoria hosted community engagement session or receive project updates email info@parks.vic.gov.au.

Download the Flinders Jetty Community Update May 2021 

Other information

Parks Victoria is the local port manager for Port Phillip, Western Port and Port Campbell, with the three local ports combined receiving approximately 80 million visits a year, and include 263,000 hectares of waterway, marine protected areas, channels, piers and jetties, moorings and aids to navigation.

Related information - places to see Flinders Jetty.

Stay up to date

For regular project updates, please subscribe to the Flinders Jetty project mailing list by sending an email to info@parks.vic.gov.au

 

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