Flinders Pier Project
- Options planning for critical repairs to Flinders Pier is underway.
- Initial planning, design options and permit stages are being carried out in the first half of 2023.
In 2010-2011, the first 180-metres of the 327-metre-long Flinders Pier was reconstructed. The reconstructed section was built from concrete and at the time, the existing timber section was retained as it still had some service life. Leaving it in place also reduced the construction impact on marine plants and animals while growth recolonised on the new steel piles.
Engineering assessments over the past few years have revealed that the timber approach section (the first 180m) of the pier has reached the end of its serviceable life, with timber deterioration to an extent that it’s no longer safe for visitor access. For public safety this timber section is now closed and as part of a funded Victorian Government commitment in 2020, was planned for removal to make the pier safe for visitors.
In October 2022, the Heritage Council of Victoria determined that the Flinders Telegraph Cable Complex and Pier precinct is of State-level cultural heritage significance, and it has been added to the Victorian Heritage Register.
The Victorian Government, under the 2022-23 State Budget, has committed funding to plan to undertake safety works to Flinders Pier. Parks Victoria will undertake this planning process in conjunction with the heritage precinct and stakeholders to determine the next steps for Flinders Pier. This includes a revision of the current Conservation Management Plan in partnership with Mornington Peninsula Shire Council.
Flinders Pier, located on Bunurong Sea Country, is an important focal point for the local community and visitors. It is a popular place for walking, diving/snorkelling, angling and boating, home to the Western Port aquaculture industry and is an important local ports facility for the Port Phillip Sea Pilots. To support these activities, the full 327 metre length of Flinders Pier remains open for public access. The unsafe 180 metre timber approach section will remain closed until a course of action has been determined.
A sustainable long-term approach to the future management of the pier that delivers the best outcome now and for many years to come is the primary goal of the project.
We will continue to communicate with the community and provide timely updates on project progress.
Image - Flinders Pier
The original Flinders Pier was built in the 1860s and most recently replaced in 1970. Substantial modifications have taken place that include removal of the tramway, timber railing and seating; replacement of the decking; removal of the landing at the northern end of the pier and alteration of the width and landings. As a result, it is the alignment of the pier rather than the fabric itself that is of primary heritage significance. The pier is also associated with other foreshore elements including the former cargo shed, slipway, former cable station and timber shed.
In the 2022-23 Victorian State Budget $1.53 million funding has been allocated to plan for critical safety works to be undertaken at Flinders Pier.
Subject to on-ground and industry conditions and heritage conditions, the timeline for the project is estimated below:
- Planning and initial procurement of technical consultants – Summer 2022-23
- Commence a revision of the precinct's Conservation Management Plan with Mornington Peninsula Shire Council – Early 2023
- Consultant’s options report delivered - Autumn 2023
- Marine biology evaluation (of options report) - Winter 2023
- Finalise project scope for repairs - Mid 2023
- Contractor procurement – Spring 2023
- Construction commencement - Late 2023
- Repairs completed - Early 2024
*Expected timing for delivery. All delivery phase timeframes are dependent on the completion of the planning phase.
The Department of Transport and Planning
Protecting ecological values
We will continue to consider and protect the habitat of the incredible marine species which call this area of Western Port home. Home to Weedy Seadragons, the seabeds beneath Flinders Pier are alive with a diversity of species including Bluethroat Wrasse, Smooth Stingrays and Magpie Perch and many more.
Frequently asked questions
How is funding for piers and jetties prioritised?
Piers and jetties play an important role for businesses and local communities and, given the large portfolio of maritime assets, the government must consider competing priorities for their repair and renewal. The Victorian Government made significant investments, including the $24 million investment in piers and jetties as part of the $2.7 billion economic stimulus initiative and is developing a fair and sustainable approach to future investment in these assets via the Sustainable Local Ports Framework.
Is Flinders Pier heritage listed?
Yes, in October 2022 a determination from the Heritage Council of Victoria found that Flinders Telegraph Cable Complex and Pier are of cultural heritage significance to the State of Victoria and these assets have been now added to the Victorian Heritage Register.
How will Parks Victoria manage the pier now it is on the Heritage Register?
The pier will continue to be inspected and maintained as part of Parks Victoria’s asset management under the role of local ports manager. Minor works and maintenance which replaces like-for-like can usually be undertaken without the need for permits. Major repairs may require a permit prior to works commencing.
Why has the timber inner section of Flinders Pier been determined as unsafe?
The inner section of the timber pier was closed in April 2020 to protect public safety due to deterioration of the piles and deck. This section has slumped in multiple sections and has been assessed as unsafe for pedestrian and vehicle access with significant risk of structural failure. In 2022, following a subsequent engineering inspection, an additional section has been closed for safety.
Can I still access Flinders Pier?
Yes. The closure to the timber inner approach section does not impact access or use of Flinders Pier. Pedestrians and vehicles can access the pier head and use the full 327 metre length of the pier.
Is it safe to walk or swim underneath the closed section of pier?
Closure of part of the timber inner section has removed loading on the pier reducing the likelihood of significant or catastrophic structural failure in the immediate future.
Parks Victoria is the local port manager for Port Phillip, Western Port and Port Campbell, with the three local ports combined receiving approximately 80 million visits a year, and include 263,000 hectares of waterway, marine protected areas, channels, piers and jetties, moorings and aids to navigation.
Related information - places to see Flinders Jetty.
Watch the video - Flinders Pier - an underwater discovery
Flinders Pier Community Update 1 - May 2021
Flinders Pier Community Update 2 - August 2021
Flinders Pier Community Update 3 - September 2021
Flinders Pier Community Update 4 - October 2021
Flinders Pier Community Update 5 - May 2022
Flinders Pier Community Update 6 - December 2022
Victorian National Parks Association - Reefwatch
Determining the specificity of fish habitat relationships in Western Port (2013) - Greg Jenkins, Tim Kenner, Andrew Brown
Understanding Western Port Report (2011) - Melbourne Water
Flinders Foreshore Reserve Coastal Management Plan (2010) - URS
Flinders Pier and Foreshore Coastal Management Plan Ecology Baseline Survey (2007)
Stay up to date
For project updates, please subscribe to the Flinders Pier project mailing list.
For general enquiries email email@example.com or you can call us on 13 1963.
Weedy Seadragon amongst seagrass (Amphibolis antartica) Juvenile Magpie Morwong and Bluethroat Wrasse
Smooth Stingray Diver under Flinders Pier
Images supplied by CEE Pty Ltd.