Keefer’s Boatshed and Jetty
The Mayor and Councillors, City of Bayside
Dear Mayor and Councillors,
Removal of Remains of Keefer’s Boatshed and Jetty and Subsequent Management of the Site Beaumaris Conservation Society Inc. notes recent press reports that the jetty at the former Keefer’s Boatshed near Banksia Street, Beaumaris, is to be demolished and removed from the site, and that the shore base for the mussel farm will be relocated to the Mordialloc Creek. There is also mention in such reports that Bayside Council is considering constructing a “viewing platform” in place of the structures to be removed.
Beaumaris Conservation Society Inc. considers that the sceni values of this area will be enhanced by the removal of all the remnant structures and the substantial amount of debris in the nearby shallow waters, but is concerned about exactly what Council might be proposing for a “viewing platform”. Already excellent viewing of the site is available from the Moysey Gardens at the top of the cliff face.
We consider that any additional viewing position should not be created anywhere near sea level in this locality, and that any such viewing point associated with the existing pedestrian ramp should be close to the top of that ramp. Access to the section of the ramp lower than it should be made unavailable. That lower majority length of the ramp should be revegetated with indigenous cliffside plants. Our reasons are as follows:
- The fossil beds should be conserved as a scientific resource restricted to authorized and qualified investigators. Their vulnerability to indiscriminate plundering by members of the public, which can significantly further deplete the resource, as well as interfere with the marine life and general appearance of the site, should be reduced. Bayside Council should request the Australian Heritage Commission to include the former Keefer’s area in its registration of the Beaumaris Fossil Site,as that area was only excluded from the registered site because of the lease, which we presume will soon have lapsed.
- The shallow indentation of the sea, near the foot of the present pedestrian access ramp to the shoreline, is a favoured shelter area for significant numbers of large, heavy sea-birds, such as Australian Pelicans, and PacificGulls, to swim and rest in windy weather.
These birds need to be protected from people coming threateningly close to them. Each such approach disturbs them and prompts them to take off. That stresses them unnecessarily, decreasing the area’s value as shelter. Limiting public access to a higher point is needed.
- Public access to the very small strip of beach near Keefer’s former site has already been removed by Council owing to the continuing danger of a repetition of a recent cliff collapse causing a fatality. Moving the boundary between the accessible and prohibited areas further up will enhance the exclusion needed here.
- The scenic values of this cliffy coastline and its rocky shallows will be maximized by reducing development and the physical signs of access such as bare ramp surfaces and rails as much as possible.
We ask for any comment you may have, and to inform us of the Council’s proposals for a viewing site, please.
Mrs Rose Allaway
Secretary, Beaumaris Conservation Society Inc.
cc. Mr Doug Miller, Manager Coasts, Port Phillip Region, DNRE