Why are we doing this?
The Port Melbourne dunes provide an essential role in buffering the effects of storms and flooding to help prevent damage to property and infrastructure. The native dune grasses help to bind and hold the sand acting as a sand reservoir to replenish the beach sand after severe storms.
Dunes also provide a foundation to coastal ecosystems and habitat for coastal wildlife and plants. This includes migratory birds, local shore birds, reptiles and a variety of native grass species. There are over 15 different native grass species in the Port Melbourne dunes. Several of the native dune grasses are of regional significance due to their limited remaining extent across the Westernport and Port Phillip Region.
Example of pedestrian impact on native dune grass cover and plant diversity near Lagoon Pier 2010
The main species on the foreshore dunes are:
- Ficinia nodosa - Knobby Club Sedge
- Austrostipa stipodes - Prickly Spear Grass
- Carex pumila - Strand Sedge
- Distichlis distichophylla - Australian Salt Grass
- Spinifex sericeus - Hairy Spinifex
- Atriplex cinerea - Coast Saltbush
- Disphyma crassifolium - Rounded Noon Flower
The Port Melbourne Beach Access and Dune Fencing has assisted to:
- Better manage and conserve dunes to maintain sanded beach areas for the public, life saving services and several community clubs
- Provide wider and better defined access to the beach
- Protect and enhance fragile native dune grasses
- Buffer the increasing severity and frequency of storm events
- Reduce sand drift onto the foreshore pedestrian and bike paths.
Port Melbourne Beach access and dune fencing proposal
The City of Port Phillip sought comment by 31 August 2012 on the proposal attached below to improve beach access and protect the dune grasses at Port Melbourne.
The proposal had been a long term need of several local community groups and the wider community. The demand for improved beach access and protective dune fencing was also emphasised by the community in the development of the Foreshore Management Plan which was adopted by Council for implementation.
The Port Melbourne dunes provide an essential role in absorbing the effects of storms and surges. The dunes buffer the impacts of flooding and help to prevent damage to inland infrastructure. The native dune grasses help to hold the sand and act as a sand reservoir to replenish the beach sand after severe storms. Dunes also provide a foundation to ecosystems and habitat for coastal wildlife and plants. This includes migratory birds, local shore birds, reptiles and a variety of native grass species. There are over 15 different native grass species found in the Princes and Pickle Street dunes at Port Melbourne, including several species of regional significance.
The works are expected to provide a number of benefits including:
- control dune expansion to maintain sanded beach areas for public
- improved safety, particularly in regard to viewlines from Port Melbourne Life Saving Club
- wider and better defined access to the beach
- protect and enhance the fragile native dune grasses
- buffer storm events increasing severity and frequency
- reduce sand drift onto the foreshore pedestrian and bike paths.
The works provide 3 metre wide access to the beach from each of the pedestrian entrances with wider access for maintenance and Life Saving Club vehicles. The fencing will be approximately 1.2m in height above the ground level and made of treated timber posts and long-life coated wire. The style of fencing is similar to fencing found at coastal areas across Victoria or interstate.
Written comments received by 31 August 2012 were considered by State Department of Sustainability (DSE) in Council’s submission to DSE for Coastal Management Act Consent. See DSE background information attached below.
The beach access and dune fencing were completed in time for the 2012/13 summer.
For more information
Contact the Foreshore Coordinator
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