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Victoria’s Bays and Coastal Foreshores need protection from planning follies

Victoria's Mornington Peninsula Shire wants to build the largest building project they have ever undertaken on foreshore public reserve land at Rosebud. The proposed complex would be 50 times larger than a recently condemned pool and needs parking for 200 vehicles. Why change something as perfect as Rosebud? Is the council mad?

No crocodiles at Rosebud

Marine crocodiles and box jellyfish made it too dangerous to swim on Cairns foreshore in Northern Australia, so the construction of a public 4 hectare built lagoon made some sense. Why, however, would you try to build something like this on the Rosebud foreshore? Rosebud foreshore is like a giant, safe lagoon already.

In fact, the coastline around Port Philip Bay, Australia, is so scenic, safe, and accessible that most normal people in the world would look at it and think that it was perfect - but not some of the people in the local council.

Dr Alan Nelsen, Secretary, of Mornington Peninsula Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association, Inc.[2] expresses local concern and amazement at this strangely inappropriate project.

Concern for Victoria’s Bays and Coastal Foreshores

"All Victorians should be pleased with the rejection by the government’s Department of Sustainability and Environment’s refusal to sell Port Phillip Bay foreshore public land for an illegally built private pool in Mt Eliza. The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council applauded the decision. [1]

However, what is of greater concern to all Victorians is that the executive of the very same council and a local councillor are lobbying the government to construct its own aquatic/leisure complex, “the largest building project undertaken by the Mornington Peninsula (shire)” on the same bay foreshore which is public reserve land at Rosebud. The proposed complex is 50 times larger than the condemned pool and requires a car park for 200 vehicles.

Hypocrisy or incompetence? The shire also refuses to recognise that its low-lying site is likely to become one of the worst affected by inundation from sea level rise on the bay foreshore. Perhaps users will be able to swim out to the complex.

A further embarrassment is that the proposal to use public open space is inconsistent with the recent comment by the government’s Minister for Planning who said he would be making new parks for Melbourne.

The bay foreshore belongs to all Victorians and must not be allowed to be squandered by a shire executive and local councillor to build a monument to themselves, dubbed by many as “Palace de Versailles by the sea”."


[1] The Sunday Age, October 9, 2011.

[2] Dr Alan Nelsen, Secretary, of Mornington Peninsula Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association, Inc.
PO Box 4087, Rosebud Vic
Email: alanne[AT]


It is really sad to watch and anticipate the incremental and continued destruction of the natural environment around Melbourne. To think that 200 years ago it was a pristine paradise with waterways and wetlands full of bird life. In 1803 James Tucky described it "The face of the country bordering the port is beautifully picturesque, swelling into gentle elevations of the brightest verdure and dotted with trees as if planted by the hand of taste, while the ground is covered with a profusion of of flowers of every colour, in short the external appearance of the country flattered us into the most delusive dreams of fruitfulness and plenty...Aquatic birds are found in abundance in the lagoons and are black swans , ducks, teal ,black and pied shags, pelicans,gulls, red bills (a beach bird) herons, curlews, and sand larks. The land birds are eagles, crows, ravens,quail, bronze winged pigeons, and many beautiful varieties of the parrot tribe, particularly the black cockatoo ; the emu is also a native of this part of the country..." *

Now we have a huge city in which there is very little room for any of these birds to exist. I see black swans at Albert Park Lake but they all have uncomfortable looking bands around their necks and heaven knows where they find refuge during the Melbourne Grand Prix motor race run every year on the shores of the lake.
*Quotation is from "The Birth of Melbourne"- first hand accounts of early Melbourne edited by Tim Flannery- highly recommended.