Sandringham Harbour Maritime Plan
Project inception: April to August 2021 (complete)
Background research - harbour user focus group: September 2021
Prepare draft plan: October to December 2021
Release draft plan for community consultation: January to February 2022
Final plan released: April 2022
*timelines are a guide only and may be subject to change.
Sandringham Harbour, on Bunurong Sea Country, is one of the iconic yachting and boating destinations within Port Phillip. To ensure that it continues be a safe and efficient maritime precinct, and important focal point for the community for many more years to come, Parks Victoria is developing a maritime plan for Sandringham Harbour.
This project is part of Parks Victoria's local ports forward planning program. The aim of the plan is to define the vessel channels, propose a future for Hampton Pier and provide direction regarding the future of swing moorings and berths within the harbour, and identify and provide for existing and emerging off the beach boating activities.
Stakeholder and community input will be sought at key stages of the development of the plan.
Local ports play an important role for businesses and local communities. Given the large portfolio of maritime assets, Parks Victoria must consider competing priorities for their repair and renewal, while also ensuring public safety. A future ready plan will help guide Victorian Government investment priorities and provide a more sustainable approach to meeting economic, tourism and community needs.
For more than 100 years Sandringham Harbour has been an iconic waterside facility and important focal point for the community. Now Parks Victoria, as the local ports manager, is looking ahead and considering ways to make this facility safer and more accessible for more people to enjoy for many more years to come.
Sandringham Harbour supports a diversity of recreational and commercial boating and other water dependent activities. Harbour users include the club members, beach walkers, dog walkers, anglers, off the beach boating (e.g. kayaks, stand up paddle boards, sail boards, kite boarding and dinghy sailing), keel boats/yachts, motor boating, commercial boating (e.g. hire boats, training activities, boat repair and sales, etc.), swing mooring holders, and others. The precinct is also contributes more broadly to the social and environmental values of the area and community.
The first pier was built in 1882. The current pier was last substantially upgraded in 2002 with the replacement of the deck elements. The piles have now failed having reached the end of their service life and the pier is closed. This plan will help confirm the form and function of a future pier in Sandringham Harbour.
Frequently asked questions
What is the Sandringham Harbour Maritime Plan (plan) project?
The Sandringham Harbour Maritime Plan project is about engaging with stakeholders and the community to understand how they use the harbour, what challenges they experience and ideas for the future, to help inform the development of a future plan for the harbour. Focusing on the 'on water' aspects and use, it will define the vessel channels, propose a future for Hampton Pier, provide direction regarding the future of the swing moorings and berths which Parks Victoria currently manage within the harbour and consider the needs of the fast growing 'off the beach' boating users.
What will the Sandringham Harbour Maritime Plan project consider?
The project will consider the following known challenges and other relevant matters that are raised throughout the process:-
- The impacts of climate change
- Coastal processes, sedimentation and “black sludge”
- Maritime safety and compliance with relevant standard for channels
- Options for the future of Hampton Pier
- The requirements for the “off the beach” boating activities
- Berths and moorings
Who is preparing the plan?
Parks Victoria, as the local ports manager, is leading the project. A project reference group (PRG) comprising representatives from Parks Victoria, Bayside City Council and Department of Transport, has been convened to advise on the project. Consultants, AW Maritime, have been appointed to prepare the draft and final Maritime Precinct Plan.
How will the community and stakeholders be involved?
In September 2021 we conducted stakeholder focus groups comprising participants who represent the views and interests of key local stakeholders and user groups of the harbour. The participants worked with us to discuss the current value, issues and future vision of Sandringham Harbour. The input from this group will help inform a draft plan which will be presented to the broader community for input and feedback in early 2022. We are also consulting with our Traditional Owner partners - Bunurong Land Council and Aboriginal Corporation.
So far we’ve heard strong support for the need to consider and cater for traditional boating users of the marina and swing moorings, as well as the growing 'off the beach' boating users. We also heard the value the local environment and sense of community the harbour and foreshore provides, and that the precinct supports more than just boating; with dog walking, swimming, cold water walking, bird watching and quite areas / paths to escape. There is also evidence of the clubs / tenants / interest groups working collaboratively to support each other in their activities. We heard that the Hampton Pier condition, sedimentation and compliance with marina design Australian Standard are evident as key challenges for the harbour. These matters will be presented and discussed in detail in the draft plan with the opportunity for all members of the community to provide feedback. To be kept informed about the project and opportunities to have your say register to receive updates.
Why was Hampton Pier closed?
Parks Victoria has been monitoring the condition of the Hampton Pier closely as it approaches the end of its service life. The pier has been deteriorating more rapidly in recent years. Following inspection by maritime engineers in July 2019, the pier was closed to vehicles in August 2019. In addition to ongoing visual monitoring, an inspection by specialist divers was completed in May 2020. This inspection found widespread necking (narrowing) and marine borer activity had affected the piles to the extent that the structural capacity was compromised. The results of the dive inspection determined that the pier is failing and closure of the pier was recommended. The pier was closed to pedestrian access to ensure public safety in June 2020.
Why didn’t Parks Victoria maintain or repair the pier?
The design life of a timber pier is generally about 30 to 50 years, despite regular maintenance, and will eventually reach a point where repairs only provide a short-term solution. Parks Victoria prioritises the repair and renewal requirements of its large portfolio of maritime assets to deliver a safe and sustainable local ports network for all Victorians to enjoy.
When will Hampton Pier will be restored and re-opened for public use?
A key objective of this planning process is to determine the needs and requirements for a pier within the precinct. The pier and associated berthing will be closed until further notice while Parks Victoria conducts future planning. The aim of the plan is to determine what works are required to be undertaken to achieve a pier that meets the community needs.
How can I have my say?
Community will have the opportunity to provide input to the draft plan when released for public consultation. To be kept informed about the project and opportunities to have your say register to receive updates.
Parks Victoria is the local port manager for Port Phillip, Western Port and Port Campbell. The three local ports combined receive 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.
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