UPDATE AT MAY 2022: The Andrews Labor Government announced it is rebuilding the Jetty as part of an $18 million package for piers and jetties across Victoria from the Victorian Budget 2022-23. Construction of the new jetty will be subject to securing the necessary environmental approvals, which are required to deliver this project due to proximity to Nooramunga Marine and Coastal Park and the adjoining Ramsar wetland. It’s expected to take up to 12 months to secure the necessary approvals before work on site can begin. – View this media release on premier.vic.gov.au
The McLoughlins Beach Jetty is owned by the Victorian Government and managed by Gippsland Ports. Last rebuilt in 1985, the jetty is now very close to the end of its useful life.
Demolition and replacement of the jetty will be required in the near future. A new jetty on the same scale, and of similar construction, is estimated, subject to final design, to cost approximately $1.5M.
Since 2002, Gippsland Ports has submitted several grant applications for funding to rebuild the jetty, without success.
Due to the extremely low level of boating usage, the project does not fully meet the criteria of the Victorian Government’s Boating Safety and Facilities Program, and Gippsland Ports is not eligible for funding under the current Recreational Fishing and Camping Facilities Program.
Without external grant funding, Gippsland Ports does not have the financial resources to rebuild the jetty.
Recognising the high value that the community places on the jetty, Gippsland Ports has continued to undertake maintenance and repair of the jetty to keep the facility in a safe and useable condition.
The jetty structure is now in very poor condition with the deck deteriorating quite rapidly, such that within 12 months, it may be unsafe, constituting a risk to users, potentially necessitating closure of the jetty at short notice.
Gippsland Ports is committed to ensuring that the jetty remains open for public access for as long as possible and is now carrying out increased inspections and is continuing ongoing maintenance whilst it is cost effective to do so.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why hasn’t the jetty been rebuilt?
Gippsland Ports relies almost entirely on external grant funding for major maintenance and/or replacement of its boating infrastructure. Previous grant applications, with the exception of limited funding offered through the Better Fishing Facilities Grants Program, for replacement of the jetty have not been successful.
- What grants have been applied for?
Gippsland Ports has sought funding to rebuild the jetty under the Boating Safety and Facilities Program in 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07 (channel dredging and jetty rebuild). All applications were unsuccessful.
An application to the Better Fishing Facilities Grants Program in 2005 was partially successful and a grant of $68,000 was offered but contribution commitments from other parties were not forthcoming, so the project did not proceed.
- What maintenance works have been carried out on the jetty?
Maintenance works were carried out on the jetty in February 2006 to replace some decking planks and strengthen the handrail.
In 2008, with the objective of extending the life of the structure in the short-term (5 to 7 years) the jetty approach was re-decked with 75mm timber and the handrail upgraded.
In 2010 the jetty head was rebuilt on the existing piles.
In October 2014, following its collapse in December 2013, the lower landing was re-built on existing piles and re-opened for public use.
In October 2018, rotting beams were replaced towards the head of the jetty.
Since 2018 routine (now monthly) inspections and maintenance including replacing sections of decking has continued on an ongoing basis.
- What is Gippsland Ports’ intention for the jetty?
The jetty is now very close to the end of its useful life. Recognising the high value placed on the jetty by the local community, Gippsland Ports aims to keep the jetty open to the public for as long as it is safe to do so, and to continue to undertake on-going maintenance, whilst it is cost effective, to maximise the life of the jetty.
- When will the jetty be re-built?
The re-build of the jetty is dependent on receiving grant funding, which Gippsland Ports will continue to pursue through appropriate channels.
- What happens in the meantime?
Gippsland Ports is increasing its regular inspections of the jetty to monitor its condition and carry out maintenance repairs as needed.