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AUTUMN ISSUE - March 2011

Update on the Sandringham foreshore


With summer come to an end, we enter Autumn wondering where summer went. Data collected
by the Bureau of Meteorology has reported that the second half of 2010 was the wettest on
record for Australia with a mean rainfall total of 690mm, well above the long-term average of
465mm. Whilst this has helped break the drought and restore our dams and water supplies, it has
also brought more flow from rivers and discharge from storm water drainage into our Bay.
Consequently, we have witnessed the dirtiest the Bay has been for some time making it difficult
to swim this summer.

Cliff Erosion/Restoration
You will have noticed quite a lot of erosion of the cliffs with the recent rains. This slumping
effect (see photos below) is a natural phenomena by the cliffs to aid stability. You will notice at
the Royal Avenue cliffs and other areas, despite the major renourishment works, significant
collapsing of the cliffs has occurred, caused by the rains. This a natural effect whereby the top
falls to build up the base until such time as the developing slope can be sustained by the local
soil type, coupled with revegetation that can be seen (photos below) to be already taking place,
naturally.

Revegetation will assist to stabilise these cliffs. Bayside Council are having it all assessed by
their risk consultants and will be looking to improve fencing and make recommendations to deal
with any change in risk conditions. We will update you as we receive any information.

We encourage you all to avoid walking on the dirt tracks and paths that have been closed
because some appear to have been undercut by the erosion and may be more hazardous.
Bev and Gerald Ettershank - a profile
Bev and Gerald are long time very well known locals who have lived in Sandringham for about
45 years and well known for running the local pharmacy till 13 years ago.

They are now regularly seen basking and swimming at Tennyson St beach most mornings up to
the Southey St groyne, a regular habit starting every year on Show day and swimming most days
of the week till Mothers day. This year, they say, is the worst quality of water they have ever
seen in the bay, due to the recent floods and storm water drainage. This summer they went to
Tasmania for some swimming, where they found crystal clear water and the quality and of the
beaches was marvelous.

They have many stories and fond memories of our local beach which they enjoyed with their
children and now grandchildren as well as interesting locals.
Spend some time with them, and they will recall interesting local characters and keen old
fishermen, like Giuseppe who supplied them with local snapper, after work, about 40-42 years
ago. Since the local reefs and bay floor were constantly heavily dredged for scallops up to 25
years ago, literally transforming it to resemble a dessert, they report a significant number of
fish diminished. They recall snorkeling and seeing flathead and snapper very close to the waters
edges, where fishermen once caught fish using a rod from Tennyson St beaches. This is now a
rare site. Only now they are seeing fish return, they believe owing to the conservation of
Ricketts point marine sanctuary. They recall seeing more reefs extended along our beach, even
up to the Tennyson St ramp and path, that are now covered with sand. They are happy to see the
renourishment of Royal Avenue beach with sand extending out.
Bev and Gerald also recall 3x colossal old banksia trees between the Royal Avenue steps and
Red Bluff cliff and old bathing boxes lined along these beaches, which they once used as
markers for swimming, all slowly wiped out with the severe storms experienced in the past over
time. Bev and Gerald are thrilled and proud to live in Sandringham but are concerned about the
future of our local beach. They have witnessed many changes but believe significant erosion of
the cliffs will eventually occur.
Sims Street car park works disrupted due to indigenous finds.
Council have updated us on the works on the Sims Street car park (see below) which were
stopped due to the discovery of an aboriginal midden on site. Aboriginal Affairs Victoria (AAV)
were immediately notified and aboriginal and cultural heritage consultants were appointed by
Council to prepare a report for AAV. This report is now with AAV and Council are awaiting a
direction from them.
Unfortunately, Council have nothing more definite in terms of timelines until we hear from
AAV. The team doing the work will keep the Council website 'current projects' updated
http://www.bayside.vic.gov.au/latestprojects.htm.
Bayside Council Survey of Open Spaces
Of interest, a recent survey of Open Spaces by council found most respondents listed the beach
and the foreshore as their most frequently used open space. The space is valued for many passive
and active sports and activities, as well as an overall appreciation of the coastal beauty and the
escapism provided while still being located so close to the city. After the beach and foreshore
area many listed small, quiet, local areas of open space as their second most used areas,
indicating the importance of these areas particularly for reasons of proximity.
(Source: Hang Do from CPG on 9993 7888 www. bayside.vic.gov.au/openspace)
------------------------------------------------------------ From Bayside City Council
Sandringham foreshore
Sims St car park:
The Cultural Heritage Management Plan for the car park near Tennyson St has been submitted
to the Department of Planning and Community Development for approval. We received some

feedback in mid February and expect an official response by mid March. Works can't continue
until approval is received.
Cliffs:
An update on the cliffs - we will be receiving an additional risk assessment report soon and it is
likely that fencing will be extended and upgraded in areas where slippages have occurred at the
back of the beach. There may be some path diversions/re-routing where undermining has
occurred. Further information will be provided.
Half Moon Bay
Stakeholders will be involved in consultation with the consultant hired by DSE to inform the
design of the beach renourishment at Half Moon Bay. Once the design has been prepared there
will be an opportunity for everyone with an interest to comment before it is finalised. This is
likely to be through a briefing/meeting on site in April. Further information will be provided.
------------------------------------------------------- End BCC comments
Clean Up Australia Day
Thank you once again to our local MP Murray Thompson who organised Clean Up Australia
Day for Sandringham. We also thank Bayside Council who have been more vigilant this
summer with cleaning of our local beaches after responding to concerns by local residents.
Plastic debris on our beaches are dangerous:
The oceans are awash with plastic debris. The plastic not only litters the beach, it islike fine
bits of sandbecoming the beach. They are likely to remain for hundreds of years. These
particles have hormone disrupting qualities .In the UK nearly 40 % of beach plastic debris is
from beach users. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/pf/21642965.html
Australia is not immune. It is vital that we make every effort to keep our beaches clean.
Available information indicates that at least 77 species of marine wildlife found in Australian
waters have been impacted by entanglement in, or ingestion of, plastic debris during the last
three and a half decades (1974-2008). The affected species include six species of marine turtles,
12 species of cetaceans, at least 34 species of seabirds, dugongs, six species of pinnipeds, at least
10 species of sharks and rays, and at least eight other species groups. Most records of impacts of
plastic debris on wildlife relate to entanglement, rather than ingestion.
(Source Doctors Environment Australia 2010)
With kindness,
Dr Vicki Karalis
President, SFA
Mr John Amiet
Chairman, SFA
Photographer and website manager : www.sandyforeshore.net.au