CLUB MARINA NEWS

BMYS SAFE HARBOUR EES 

Fact Sheet No.4 (February 2015)

 Project Update 

Since the release of our Project Fact Sheet No. 2 in November 2014, the BMYS EES team has continued to undertake a number of key studies as outlined in the Assessment Guidelines for the EES.  These Assessment Guidelines can be found at http://www.dtpli.vic.gov.au/planning/environmental-assessment/projects/beaumaris-motor-yacht-safe-harbour.

The draft assessments undertaken to date, include:

  • Geology, geomorphology and fossil beds
  • Biodiversity and habitat
  • Coastal Processes
  • Water quality (preliminary studies)
  • Climate Implications – Coastal Hazard Vulnerability Assessment
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Traffic and Parking
  • Land Use and Infrastructure
  • socio-economic analysis

Some of these studies are preliminary and once a further concept design of the Safe Harbour has been prepared, these studies can be finalised.  Stakeholder and community consultations that are currently being undertaking by BMYS’s consultants will also assist in the finalisation of these studies before the EES documentation can be prepared.

Much of the information being prepared at the moment was presented at the first Open Day at BMYS which was held on Sunday 1st February 2015.

Approximately 200 members of the public attended this Open Day and were provided the opportunity to inform themselves on a number of EES subject studies which were displayed in the BMYS Clubhouse. Six booths manned by specialist consultants who had carried out the EES subject studies were in attendance at these booths to discuss the results of their studies and answer queries from attendees.

The EES subjects on display which included a continuously running underwater video of the seabed at the proposed breakwater were:

  • Safe Harbour Concept Plans
  • Cultural Heritage summary
  • Fossils and Geology summary sheet
  • Traffic Management summary sheet
  • Biodiversity and Habitat summary sheet

Attendees were also provided with a Question and Answer paper (attached to this Fact Sheet) which addressed most of the commonly asked questions on the BMYS Safe Harbour proposal.

  BMYS Open Day 

 Questions & Answers – Safe Harbour Project

What is the key purpose of the project?

The key purpose of the project is to meet existing member’s demands in terms of facilities and boat storage.

 Since its establishment in 1959, BMYS has undergone numerous expansions and redevelopment involving both the Clubhouse and boat launching facilities. BMYS endeavours to continue development and improvement initiatives to ensure that its members and guests continue to enjoy safe and modern boating facilities in Beaumaris Bay.

The proposed Safe Harbour development is essential to improving and maintaining the Club’s boating facilities into the future. The design encourages best practice initiatives that will lead to environmental improvements (e.g. a modern, environmentally friendly boat wash facility) and at the same time provide easier access to the area and improved recreational facilities for public use. 

Does the Club plan to increase the number of members? If so, by how many?

There will be no increase in membership numbers as part of the project.

What will or is there any changes to the public access of the area?

Public access to the foreshore area will be improved through provision of increased access to the breakwater, public boardwalk and proposed kiosk. The boardwalk around the harbour wall and paths will have interpretative signage concerning the fossil beds and the cultural heritage of Beaumaris Bay, including a history of the area. BMYS will work with the City of Bayside, the Museum of Victoria and the State Government in preparing the interpretative strategy and signage.

Will the Project impact upon cliff stability?

No, the project will not have a negative impact upon cliff stability.  The geotechnical assessment of the cliff face undertaken as part of the studies required in the Environment Effects Statement (EES) indicates that there is risk of cliff instability and erosion occurring in the future: however, this will not come from the Safe Harbour development, but from surface storm water run-off from Beach Road.

Will the new dry storage facility be connected to the cliffs?

No, there will be a gap of approximately 2 metres to ensure no impact to the cliff face occurs as part of the Safe Harbour development.  The dry stack facility will be structurally designed to ensure it can withstand a rock fall or landslide from the cliff.

Will the new Safe Harbour involve the dumping of large amounts of rock?

The EES is currently evaluating two design options- a rock breakwater versus concrete sheet piling. The question of the quantity of rock filling that might be required cannot be answered until these studies are complete.

Will Little Beach (Keefer’s Cove) fill up with sand?

Currently, approximately 500 -1,000m³ of sand builds up each year at the BMYS boat ramp and the Club has to remove this sand accumulation by suction pump dredging on a 3-5 year cycle. It is possible that some occasional build-up of sand might occur at Little Beach as part of the Safe Harbour development. However, as with the current situation, it is expected that this temporary build-up of sand will be washed out during storms in a natural cycle.

Will there be any environmental impacts from the project?

As with most developments, some environmental impacts may occur; however, through extensive assessments and appropriate design these environmental impacts will be minimized, including any possible impacts to fossil nodule beds and the marine environment.  The EES will demonstrate this.

Will there be an increase in traffic because of the Safe Harbour?

Traffic is expected to be reduced because many members of BMYS will utilise the dry stack facility and boats will be ‘parked’ in the dry stack rather than on trailers in nearby surrounding streets.  The number of car parks will increase within the BMYS lease area through redesign of parking facilities to make for more efficient use of the site. 

What are the impacts from construction?

Depending on the design outcome, the impacts during the construction phase would include truck movements in and out of the site, causing dust and noise. However, this activity must meet the standards applied by Bayside City Council and the EPA. Additionally, on-water construction may affect water quality and some removal of seagrass.  The construction period is likely to be 12 months, with most construction ‘impacts’ deemed of a temporary nature.  A Construction Environmental Management Plan will be prepared for the development and is likely to be a condition of any planning permit and/or Coastal Management Act consent required for the project.  The EES will include a framework for this Plan.

What will the project look like?

Consultants have been engaged to undertake a visual and landscape analysis of the Safe Harbour and its environs which will be presented as part of the EES.  Notwithstanding, the Clubhouse facility is not expected to be any higher than the current Clubhouse. The breakwater itself will be approximately 3.5 m above the high water mark to ensure compliance with Australian Standards for public use.  For comparison, the existing public jetty (owned and built exclusively from BMYS funds) stands approximately 3.0 m above the high water mark.

What public money is being used in the development?

None. The project will be funded entirely by the Club and its members.

Will the project stop public fishing from the club leased property?

No, public access will be improved, and once built the breakwater will provide more public access for fishing and community access than currently exists.

Will the new dry storage facility be visible from Beach Road?

No, the dry storage facility will be lower than the cliffs and is designed to blend into the cliffs so as not to be an obstruction to any views.

Will the project involve any removal or work to the cliffs?

No, there will be no work of any kind carried out on the cliffs.

 Will there be any reclamation/work to the land behind the current Club grounds?

It is intended that as an essential part of the project the bank behind the clubhouse will be cleared of noxious weeds, box thorns and any old discarded concrete and rubbish. As this unsightly area is Bayside City Council property the objective is to clean up the area in conjunction with the Council and replant it with indigenous vegetation as we have already done in the entrance sections of the driveway from Beach Road.

Will there be any impact to the fossil sites around the Club?

The EES process is designed to ensure that all areas of the project are studied and impacts to the environment and natural and historical features minimized in accordance with the stringent standards applicable to Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD). In particular, it is stressed that geological and geomorphological features at or near the site, including historic fossil and nodule beds, have been subject to the most rigorous, comprehensive and detailed palaeontology studies of their type ever undertaken in the Beaumaris Bay area.

These studies (entirely funded by BMYS) were necessary in order to meet the stringent requirements of the government mandated EES applicable to the proposal.

Will the Club still offer its facilities for use by community groups as it currently does?

Yes, BMYS has no intention of stopping them. In fact, the Club will probably be in a better position to expand this activity

Why can’t locals join the Club?

Membership in BMYS is open to anyone who wishes to join. However, the Constitution of the Club restricts the total membership to a maximum of 700 members, so at times there is a waiting period when membership is full. When vacancies occur, those applicants on the waiting list are invited to join in order of their applications being received by the Club.

Will Mentone beach be robbed of sand?

Many in-depth studies have been conducted as part of the EES requirements with the results showing that the proposed BMYS Safe Harbour breakwater will not change the prevailing sand supply regime at Mentone Beach.

What are the public benefits of the project?

The project will provide a number of additional public benefits to the neighborhood and public amenity will be enhanced through increased access to the foreshore and Keefer’s Cove with better access and facilities for on-shore anglers, reduced traffic congestion and traffic hazards.  Most significantly, public access will be improved with the Safe Harbour breakwater being aligned with the Keefer’s Cove access path from Beach Road to form part of the Bayside Coastal Trail.  This will allow 24/7 pedestrian access and public fishing off the breakwater, with interpretive signage and displays proposed to be erected along walking paths to highlight the significance of the fossils previously found and still present in this area. A refreshment kiosk will also be provided for the public adjacent to the Site.

Additionally, the new Clubhouse and its infrastructure will provide for a training centre designed to offer boat handling and safety at sea training to BMYS members as well as the general public. The Safe Harbour breakwater wall will have a dedicated public area for scuba diving and sea kayaking. There will be an area set aside to allow for the training and development of these sports as Beaumaris Bay is developing into a popular location in Port Phillip for the enjoyment of these activities due to its sheltered position. Also, the Club is a short distance away from some well-known snorkeling areas that currently are very difficult to access. The proposed new facilities will allow much easier access to these areas.

 How many public fishing platforms will be built on the breakwater?

The current plans provide for a fishing area approximately four times the area as it currently exists at the end of our current jetty. The proposed new fishing facilities on the breakwater will allow access to deeper water so hopefully the fishing will be better for those members of the public who regularly fish off the jetty.   

 Where do the fossils found around the old Keefer’s boat shed site come from?

Coastal process and geological studies have shown that fossils found in the sandy sea beds off Keefer’s Cove come from the cliff faces to the south of the cove, as the waves and weather erodes the cliff face. Some of these exposed fossils are then washed along the coast by wave and tidal movement into Keefer’s Cove.

Will there be any dredging involved with the Safe Harbour – before or after construction?

No dredging of the seabed is expected during the construction phase of the Safe Harbour. Furthermore, due to careful design of the breakwater and what has been learned from extensive coastal process studies it is highly unlikely that maintenance dredging will be necessary following completion of the project.

Is there going to be a Public Hearing on the Safe Harbour proposal and if so, when?

When all studies and reports required by the EES have been finalised and reviewed by the relevant statutory government bodies, the EES will be submitted to the Minister for Planning for public exhibition. It is expected that this will occur later in 2015.  This will be followed by a public hearing process with subsequent assessment by the Minister for Planning.

Will there be any further seabed reclamation involved with the Safe Harbour? If so, what area?

The Safe Harbour proposal includes reclamation of approximately 3,060m² of sandy seabed in front of the existing BMYS facilities.

Will there be a lot of noise through boat rigging during high winds?

The Safe Harbour wet berth facility is designed to accommodate power boats only, BMYS does not expect any sailing yachts to be berthed on-site due to water depth;  therefore, wind noise that is generated by flapping of sails and rigging on yachts will not exist in the BMYS Safe Harbour.

Will the club use neutral colors to ensure the whole facility blends against the cliffs?

Yes, the objective is that the Safe Harbour and its facilities should blend in with the natural environment of the cliffs surrounding Beaumaris Bay, both in the design of the structures as well as the selection and planting of indigenous trees and shrubs in the lease area.  

What are the expected traffic disruptions during the construction phase?

Some disruption to traffic in Beach Road is likely to occur during the construction phase due to the movement of trucks and other plant. However, this is expected to occur during normal working hours only on weekdays since weekend work of this type is restricted by Council regulation.