Newhaven Jetty indefinite closure

Melina BATH (Eastern Victoria) (21:01): (913) My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Ports and Freight, and it relates to the Newhaven Jetty, which has been deemed unsafe and is in a condemned status. The action I seek from the minister is for them to urgently meet with the community and local businesses and stakeholders to plot a timeline for urgent upgrades and a reopening of the Newhaven Jetty. It is a gorgeous location on Phillip Island, and it is best known for fishing off the pier, but it has suddenly been completely closed, completely cut off indefinitely by Parks Victoria due to stated structural failures. It holds a historical significance as being at the oldest settlement on Phillip Island with a rich maritime history, and it plays an important role in the community and the visitor economy, where people can fish, walk, take photos and be out in nature. It is a magnificent place.

In 2020, four years ago, an engineering structural assessment revealed that this 50-year-old structure was in need of urgent upgrades. Over the past several years the community has witnessed degradation and neglect of the jetty, with the south arm already being closed and now this recent installation of barricades directly obstructing the view right outside the Saltwater restaurant, which is a fantastic restaurant which actually employs 30 young people in the region and is often booked for weddings. At the moment the restaurant proprietor has had cancellations of these weddings because clearly rather than a beautiful picture you have got walled off fences and padlocks, and this is just a blight on this most beautiful attraction.

The Labor government is supposed to collect fishing licence and registration fees to improve fishing, boating, jetties and piers. However, the question remains for the community: why has this jetty been neglected to the point it is lost off the priority list and is now condemned. This is unacceptable. It is unacceptable from an amenity point of view, from a public access and community view and from a mental health and wellbeing view but also for the visitor economy, so again I call on the minister to come, meet with the community and work out a timeline to reopen this beautiful asset.