St Leonards Pier Rebuild and Local Port Area Plan
- Initial background research, technical investigations and early stakeholder engagement is underway, and will be used to inform a draft plan which will be released for wider community consultation in Summer 2023-24.
- The plan will help shape the design for a rebuilt St Leonards Pier.
- The design and construction phase to rebuild the pier will begin after the plan is finalised.
This project is being delivered on Wadawurrung Sea Country.
A new plan is in development for the future of St Leonards Pier and the adjoining waters managed by Parks Victoria.
The St Leonards Local Port Area Plan (plan) will draw from the current understanding of the site, as well as ideas and aspirations generated from community feedback and set out a strategic direction ensuring it continues to be a thriving maritime asset for many more years to come.
Focusing on the on-water elements, the plan aims to improve the safety and function of the local port area responding to changing conditions and user needs and confirm the community’s aspirations for a rebuilt pier.
Community feedback on the requirements for a successful maritime facility will be sought to help inform the planning process. Further details around how to get involved will be provided as the project progresses.
Above: An aerial view of St Leonards local port area and supporting infrastructure (Credit: DEECA)
Above: Map showing focus area of project.
Located on the Bellarine Peninsula, St Leonards Pier is popular with people accessing the many great recreational walking, boating and fishing opportunities on offer in Port Phillip and holds significant value to locals and visitors alike.
St Leonards Pier was originally constructed in the 1860s and most recently reconstructed in 1957. To ensure the pier remains a feature of the area, funding to replace the ageing pier was committed in the 2023-24 State Budget. This planning project will provide guidance on the design in readiness for construction.
The planning process will consider the following known challenges and other relevant matters that are raised throughout the process.
- The alignment and functional attributes of a rebuilt St Leonards Pier.
- A functional on-water layout which enhances activity, movement and use and considers. impacts on the swing moorings, dredging, fairways and berthing.
- Opportunities for short-term visitor berthing.
- Future demand and use.
This project is part of the Victorian Government’s Sustainable Local Ports Framework and Parks Victoria's local ports forward planning program. Local ports play an important role for businesses and local communities. This plan will help guide Victorian Government investment priorities and provide a more sustainable approach to meeting economic, tourism and community needs.
The planning project is funded by the Victorian Government through the Department of Transport and Planning. The pier rebuild is funded by the Victorian Government under the 2023-24 State Budget.
Who are we working with?
A project reference group comprising representatives from Parks Victoria, Bellarine Bayside Foreshore Committee of Management, City of Greater Geelong, Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action and the Department of Transport and Planning are advising on the development of the plan.
Phase 1 – Prepare the St Leonards Local Port Area Plan
Background research and technical investigations – Spring 2023
Preparation of the draft plan – Late Spring 2023
Community consultation of draft plan – Summer 2023-24
Feedback considered – Summer 2024
Final plan released – Autumn 2024
Phase 2 – Rebuild St Leonards Pier *
Final approvals and permits
* Commencement of the delivery phase is dependent on the completion of the planning phase.
Frequently asked questions
When will the pier be built?
The Victorian Government allocated funding in the 2023-24 State Budget to rebuild St Leonards Pier, allowing initial planning to get underway. The local port area plan will help inform the design of the rebuilt pier, which will be developed during 2024-25 followed by construction. The current pier will remain open for enjoyment as long as it is practicable and safe ahead of its necessary removal as part of the redevelopment.
What are the steps / processes involved in preparing the plan?
- Reviewing existing technical information and filling the gaps with new investigations where required.
- Consulting with key users and stakeholders to understand the challenges and aspirations for the pier and water uses.
- Preparing the draft plan and releasing it for community feedback.
- Amending the draft plan in response to what we’ve heard following consultation.
- Finalising the final plan for release.
Why does a plan need to be completed before the pier is rebuilt?
The plan is a strategic document to guide the future of this area within the local port. This process is critical for Parks Victoria to understand the changing and growing needs of the community to ensure the future pier design meets the needs of the community and stakeholders and is resilient to coastal process and climate change.
Why is Parks Victoria currently procuring a designer for the pier, if the plan hasn’t been completed?
To keep the project moving and rebuild the pier as early as possible, Parks Victoria is getting started on early designer engagement and preliminary design investigations, so that when the plan is finalised the design team is ready to go. The detailed design will be developed in 2024-25.
How will stakeholders and key users be involved in the project?
The planning process includes opportunities for stakeholders, including Traditional Owners, and key users and interest groups to provide input through meetings and emails to inform the development of the draft plan. Parks Victoria will contact key stakeholders directly in Spring 2023.
How can community members contribute to project?
When a draft plan is developed, it will be made available for community input and comment. The consultation will be delivered on Engage Victoria and promoted locally to encourage input. To be kept informed about the project, register to receive updates or email the Project Team at email@example.com or call 13 1963.
How will the heritage values of the precinct be considered in the plan?
As part of the planning process, Parks Victoria will seek appropriately qualified consultants to provide advice on the heritage values of the pier and adjoining waters. There is a wealth of information about the heritage values of the St Leonards Pier available from previous planning studies. While the current pier is not heritage listed, it was first built in 1860s giving the seabed area that it once occupied historic value.
How will the planning process consider the rebuild of the Pier?
Community feedback on the aspirations and requirements for a successful pier facility gathered through the planning process will be used to help inform the next stage of pier design.
How will the protection of the marine values of the precinct be considered in the plan?
The purpose of the plan is to consider the future safe operation of the pier and surrounding water use. The protection of local marine values will be considered as part of the planning process and any future project plans.
Parks Victoria is currently undertaking a local port area planning process for Mornington Harbour, Sorrento, and Williamstown in Port Phillip and Rhyll in Western Port. A final plan for Sandringham Harbour was released in late 2022 and being used to guide the rebuild of Hampton Pier.
Parks Victoria is the local port manager for Port Phillip, Western Port and Port Campbell. The three local ports combined include 263,000 hectares of waterway, marine protected areas, channels, piers and jetties, moorings and aids to navigation.