NEWSLETTER – June 21
Hopefully, this Newsletter finds you all in good health.
We held our annual general meeting on Sunday 16 May at the Sorrento RSL. We would like to thank John Prentice and the RSL for the use of their venue on the day.
The following people were elected to the Committee: me, Mechelle Cheers, Jill Sands, Christine Granger, Lino Tarquinio, Joan Hoskins, Graeme Hill, Lloyd Eldred, and Michael Batchelor.
We welcome Lloyd Eldred to the Committee. In addition to the broad range of issues impacting ratepayers Lloyd has particular interest in the heritage attributes of this part of the peninsula and the planning and approval processes in place in respect of new development in Nepean Ward and their application by council.
We were also fortunate to have both our new councillors in attendance. Councillors Sarah Race and Susan Bissinger provided us with some insights into their vision for the Nepean Ward and were actively involved in the Community Forum which followed the AGM. We are looking forward to working with them in the future.
The final Sorrento Foreshore Masterplan is available on the Shire’s website. It does not appear much different to the draft plan presented for consultation last year. It is unclear what, if anything, has changed in response to community feedback. We believe all improvements must be non-intrusive, minimalist, and consistent with the heritage value of the site. Signage must be kept to a minimum, overdevelopment of the foreshore avoided, and uncontrolled dingy storage addressed.
Some aspects of the final plan are of concern due to potential overdevelopment of what is a small area. It would be great to get your thoughts on the plan.
Draft plans for Webster’s Corner (carpark, toilets, picnic, and playground areas) and Sullivan’s Bay (carpark and picnic area) are also available for public consultation. This process will close on 2 July 2021.All these plans are available at Sorrento Foreshore | Shape our Future (mornpen.vic.gov.au)
The Council endorsed the Rye Foreshore Concept Design in May this year subject to amendments. The amendments, supported by the NRA, have addressed most of the community concerns with the final design. The Rye Foreshore Concept Design, prior to amendments, had clearly moved away from what was identified by the community as important in the 2017 consultation phase. The community was clear about wanting ease of access to parking close to the pier, beach, playground, and picnic facilities. It was also clear about retaining bay views, leading to the removal of camping in the centre of town. We are concerned that this is another example of Council not fully considering community feedback, provided during public consultation processes.
Detailed design work will now go ahead with construction work commencing in 2022.
We are concerned with the management and development of Police Point Park as a community asset. For those of you unfamiliar with the Police Point Park, it consists of 17 hectares of land located on the right-hand side of Point Nepean Road just before the entrance to Point Nepean National and the Quarantine Station and is truly a hidden gem. If you haven’t visited the Park recently, take the time to go and have a look.
In 2004 Police Point Shire Park was established through a Deed of Settlement Trust transferring ownership of this section of the land to Mornington Peninsula Shire.
The Park includes historic cottages that originally housed police officers who played a critical role in restricting access to the Quarantine Station.
Based on Shire budgets more than a million dollars has been allocated to Police Point Park since 2014/15. This money was for: the development and implementation of masterplans; conservation and recreation plans; and restoration and repairs to the cottages.
The Gatekeepers Cottage (c.1888) has been renovated to include a studio and is used for an Artists in Residence Program coordinated by the Shire’s Arts & Culture team.
Other cottages have been used for respite housing since 2015 with limited success.
Some interpretive signage about the historical significance of the park has also been installed.
We are concerned that there has been a significant financial investment in the park with little obvious benefit to the community. Developments have been piecemeal at best with the cottages still in varying states of repair. Members of the local community have been engaged in projects through implementation committees/advisory groups for many years. These groups have repeatedly requested a business plan and the establishment of robust management and accountability structures to ensure that the potential of the entire site is realised and benefits to the local community achieved. These groups continue to be frustrated by the lack of Shire action in this area.
We strongly encourage you to become involved with the group in your area.
Engaging the Nepean Ward in supporting a sustainable community