Evan Thornley, then a Labor MLC for Southern Metropolitan Region (at left), with the Zone 1-2 Leader (2nd left), President (3rd left), and Treasurer (at right) of Beaumaris Conservation Society Inc, after a walk with them in November 2008 to inspect the roadside edge of the National Estate section of Beaumaris foreshore reserve.

That reserve, which is part of the Beaumaris Bay Fossil Site on the Register of the National Estate, is of national and international importance, but it is threatened with losing 90 trees or, far worse, being bisected right along its length, if VicRoads cannot meet Bayside Council’s request for a short extension of the nearby 2-lane safety section to give room on the Beach Road bitumen for the bicycle road extension.

Mr Thornley said he thought the solution to the impasse between saving the bushland reserve and extending the concrete bicycle road can be resolved. He agreed to make a second walk between Cromer and Charman Roads, and back along the cliff top path with the VicRoads Regional Director, Metro South East, being present to see the problem on site and discuss it with him while BCS Inc. officers were present. That second visit took place on 2008-12-01, and enabled the Regional Director and his assistant, Mr Trevor Smith, to assess matters.

Mr Thornley resigned his Upper House seat later that month. His replacement was Ms Jennifer Huppert, who was nominated by the Labor Party National Executive.