Sorrento Local Port Area Plan Project
- Parks Victoria is developing a local port area plan for the Sorrento Pier and adjoining water uses
- Initial background research and technical investigations are underway, with stakeholder focus groups planned from late Winter 2023
- Feedback from stakeholders will inform the development of the draft plan, which will be released for wider community consultation from late Spring 2023
- Parks Victoria will soon announce ways in which the community can participate in the future planning project. To be kept informed about the project, register to receive updates.
This project is being delivered on Bunurong Sea Country.
A new plan is in development to guide decision making on the future management of Sorrento Pier and the adjoining water uses the area can support. The Sorrento Local Port Area Plan (the plan) draws from the site’s past, as well as ideas and aspirations generated from community feedback.
The plan will set out improvements to meet community needs, balancing and enhancing existing uses and creating new, safer recreation opportunities and shoring up the future for Sorrento Pier.
This includes considering commercial and visitor berthing opportunities and gaps in services on offer, channel widths and berths for safe access, and ensuring any proposed future changes to Sorrento Pier or the swing moorings do not adversely impact access. Access to the public boat ramp and associated structures ( Fishermans Shed and shelter), integration of the expansion of the ferry terminal and pedestrian walk on area and the waterway, and the future demand for services will also be considered.
Community feedback on the aspirations and requirements for a successful facility will be sought to help inform the next stage of the plan. Planning is underway and further details will be provided to the community and stakeholders as this project progresses.
Above: An aerial view of Sorrento local port area and supporting infrastructure (Credit: Searoad Ferries)
Above: Map of the Sorrento Local Port Area Plan focus site
Sorrento Pier on Bunurong Sea Country, is one of the Port Phillip’s iconic pier destinations. To ensure it continues to be a safe and thriving maritime asset for many more years to come, Parks Victoria is developing a Local Port Area Plan (plan) for the Pier and adjoining water uses.
Focusing on the on-water elements, the plan aims to consider commercial and visitor berthing opportunities and gaps for services on offer, channel widths and berths for safe access, and ensuring any proposed changes to Sorrento Pier or the swing moorings do not adversely impact access to the public boat ramp. The plan will also consider the future of Sorrento Pier and associated structures ( Fisherman’s Shed), integration of the expansion of the ferry terminal and pedestrian walk on area and the waterway, and the future demand for services.
This project is part of the Victorian Government’s Sustainable Local Ports Framework and Parks Victoria's local ports forward planning program. Local ports play an important role for businesses and local communities. This plan will help guide Victorian Government investment priorities and provide a more sustainable approach to meeting economic, tourism and community needs.
This planning project is funding by the Victorian Government via the Department of Transport and Planning.
Who are we working with?
A project reference group comprising representatives from Parks Victoria, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Better Boating Victoria, Department of Transport and Planning and Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation will advise on the project.
- Background research and technical investigations, early stakeholder engagement – Autumn / Late Winter 2023
- Preparation of the draft plan – Spring 2023
- Community consultation of draft plan – Late Spring / Early Summer 2023/24
- Feedback considered – Early 2024
- Final plan released – Early 2024
Mornington Harbour Local Port Area Plan. Parks Victoria is currently undertaking a local port area planning process for Mornington Harbour. Learn more.
Parks Victoria is the local port manager for Port Phillip, Western Port and Port Campbell. The three local ports combined receive over 33 million visits a year, and include 263,000 hectares of waterway, marine protected areas, channels, piers and jetties, moorings and aids to navigation.
Frequently asked questions
What is the Sorrento Local Port Area Plan project?
The Sorrento Local Port Area Plan project is about engaging with stakeholders and the community to understand how they use the Pier, what challenges they experience and ideas for the future, to help inform the development of a plan for the Pier and water uses. It will define the vessel channels in compliance with the relevant Australian Standard, propose a future for the Pier including a suite of functions and uses, and provide direction on any movements of the swing moorings and berths which Parks Victoria currently manages in the precinct in consideration of future activations.
Why is the plan needed?
Sorrento Pier is one of the busier piers on the Mornington Peninsula in relation to commercial operator and licensed tour operator activity. Its popularity is also growing as a destination for day trippers and a potential pick up and drop off location for recreational vessels. There are likely to be many more changing circumstances that have the potential to influence the future functions of the Pier, and the plan aims to consider the options and solutions ensuring the facility continues to meet user requirements. The plan will also consider adapting to sea level rise due to climate change and ways to make the Pier and facilities safer and more accessible for all visitors. It will help guide the Victorian Government on the priorities for the repair and renewal of infrastructure to meet future economic, tourism and community needs.
What does the project include?
The planning process for this project will consider the following known challenges and other relevant matters that are raised throughout the process:
- The future of Sorrento Pier, associated structures (i.e., Fishermens Shed and shelter), and the waterway, including design adjustments to enhance uses and activity
- Options for commercial and visitor berthing opportunities and gaps in services on offer
- Future demand for services and options for provision for channel widths and berths for large commercial vessels
- Integration of the expansion of the ferry terminal and pedestrian walk on area
- Ensure any proposed changes to Sorrento Pier or the swing moorings do not adversely impact access to the public boat ramp.
How can community members contribute to project?
When a draft plan is developed, it will be made available for community input and comment. The consultation will be delivered on the Engage Victoria website and promoted locally to encourage feedback. Parks Victoria will soon announce ways in which the community can participate in the future planning for Sorrento Pier and water uses. To be kept informed about the project, register to receive updates or email the Project Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 13 1963.
How will stakeholders be involved?
A project reference group has been established and includes representatives from local government, government agencies and the Traditional Owners. The planning process includes focus groups with stakeholders to inform the development of the draft plan.
What are the steps / processes involved in preparing the plan?
- Reviewing existing technical information and filling the gaps with information from new investigations where required.
- Consulting with key users and stakeholders to understand the values, challenges and aspirations for the Pier.
- Preparing the draft plan and releasing it for community feedback.
- Amending the draft plan in response to what we heard.
- Finalising and seeking approval of the final plan.
Who is preparing the plan?
Parks Victoria, as the local ports manager, is leading the project. A project reference group comprising representatives from Parks Victoria, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Bunurong Land Council, Better Boating Victoria and Department of Transport and Planning has been convened to advise on the project. Parks Victoria has engaged suitably qualified contractors to aid in the preparation of the plan.
Who is responsible for managing Sorrento Pier?
Parks Victoria is responsible for the management of Sorrento Pier and on-water infrastructure, as both the Port Manager for the local port of Port Phillip and as the Committee of Management for the seabed Crown Land Reserve. Mornington Peninsula Shire Council manage the foreshore, public boat ramp, and parking as Committee of Management.
Where will larger vessels and smaller vessels be accommodated on the Pier?
The location for accommodating larger vessels and smaller vessels on the Pier will be the subject of design and layout considerations. The project provides for assessment of future demand options for the Pier, development of practical solutions for accommodating future demand needs, and consultation with stakeholders and community on provisions of the suite of future services to be supported at the Pier. At this stage, options considered have been constrained by the location of existing infrastructure.
What other changes would be required to enable larger vessels to operate?
Consideration of the location and width of access channels to ensure there is compliance with the Australian Standards. Depending on this assessment, it is possible that some swing moorings may need to be reconfigured or moved.
When will the plan be implemented?
The plan will set out a future direction for the Sorrento Pier and water uses and will be used to direct and prioritise future investment. Any changes proposed by the plan will need to be further developed and costed. Funding options will be considered when the nature and scale of any investment is known.
How will the heritage values of the area be considered in the plan?
As part of the planning process, Parks Victoria has appointed qualified and experienced consultants to provide advice on the heritage values of the Pier and adjoining waters. There is a wealth of information about the heritage values of the Sorrento Pier available from previous planning studies that will also be drawn upon.
How will the protection of the marine values of the area be considered in the plan?
The purpose of the plan is to consider the future safe operation of the Sorrento local port area. The protection of local marine values will be considered as part of any future project plans.