Final Message of thanks from Save Flinders Pier

26th October 2022

A final message of thanks from Charles Reis, Campaign Chairperson.

Our Save Flinders Pier success was the result of a team effort. An extraordinary team, as it turned out. So, as we close-out our campaign, I would like to call-out each of our committee members who contributed their time, knowledge, expertise and effort to save our iconic pier for future generations:

Committee Members

  • The late Trent Williams – organised our volunteer Flinders beach-cleans and introduced us to the dive community’s perspective of the pier.
  • Alan Farrer – former Commodore of the Flinders Yacht Club who delivered engineering insights and estimates
  • Claire Thorn – offered important tactical advice on our campaign strategy and also the workings of Government
  • Jane Bowman – arranged volunteer scuba divers to remove seabed litter and educated all of us on the state of the seabed beneath the pier.
  • Jo Monie – Flinders Community Association President and Heritage contributor to the Heritage application.
  • Mark Holland – former president of the Flinders District Lions Club who led our independent condition report
  • Mary Iles – organised our merchandise and events and put up signs across the Peninsula.
  • Melissa Smith – provided commercial and tactical advice and organised signage printing and our real estate boards.
  • Myra Kelly – our relentless champion of social media and taught us the strength of Instagram to a younger, wider audience.
  • Dr Neil Hallam – resident botanist and our environmental expert who assisted the review of an independent environmental report
  • Neville Wale – President of the Flinders District Historical Society who prepared the successful Heritage application
  • Susan Grant – Flinders Community Association Treasurer and research contributor to the Heritage application
  • Trish Hurley – Convenor of the pier’s school art competition with displays and awards to students and schools across the Peninsula, ably assisted by Patricia MacDonald

And our supporters…..

The 42,000 signatures on the website with their messages of support;

The 3,000 people who signed petitions in the shops and the Flinders General Store; and our valuable financial supporters whose donations quickly rose to more than $40,000, enabling us to spread our message far and wide.

The 99 individuals who took the time to research and prepare personal submissions to Heritage Victoria in support of the pier’s heritage listing.

Our thanks go to all the retailers in the village who willingly put up signs and contacted their own customers to support our campaign. The Flinders General Store is worthy of special mention for its promotion and sale of our merchandise; and made sure stickers and caps were seen around the world…yes, even in New York! And Harry the Mussel Man who provided important feedback on the pier’s commercial importance.

Our congratulations to Chris Jaeger and his team of Iceberger swimmers who jumped, swam and sausage sizzled in support of the campaign. And to Peter Carew, who made signs, key rings and earrings from recycled squid jigs to help us raise funds.

We thank our Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and our Mayor, Anthony Marsh who kayaked his way from Flinders Pier to Somerville to help support the campaign.

Our thanks to St John’s Church which let us display our wonderful campaign trailer at the St John’s fete in January; and to the drivers who trailed the trailer around Victoria and posted her presence where ever they could!

Also, the Save Western Port group that reached out and provided tactical advice on how to promote our cause.

We acknowledge the local, state and country-wide media which published our news, stories, letters and photos and whose editors, reporters and broadcasters supported us all the way. We also thank the photographers who generously granted us access to their photos and video footage of the pier and life beneath the water’s surface.

And we must not forget Sir David Attenborough, one of the world’s greatest conservationists who hand-wrote to us at the very beginning of our campaign, not once but twice, in support of the weedy sea dragon habitat that we were working so hard to preserve.

We thank the local, State and Federal politicians and candidates who met with and listened to us and continue to support the Pier’s repair and preservation on social media.

And we thank you, our FCA members and friends who allowed us to use your front fences and nature strips for our signs; and provided encouragement and messages of support at each step of this campaign.

We leave the last words of this final post to our dear friend and colleague, the late Trent Williams who signed-off all his emails with the same catchphrase: The Voice of the sea speaks to the soul.

Trent will be in our thoughts every-time we step on to the pier; or dive amongst the wonderful creatures that will continue to call the old Flinders Pier their home.

Charles Reis

Chairperson, Save Flinders Pier campaign (Retired)

Save Flinders Pier

Save Flinders Pier campaign grew out of a public meeting held in the Flinders Village Hall on Saturday 8 May 2021.  The public meeting, attended by over 300 people from across the Mornington Peninsula, was in response to a media leak that the Minister for Ports, Melissa Horne, had quietly announced plan to demolish the first 180m of the historic pier.
Under the auspice of the Flinders Community Association, the Save Flinders Pier campaign was born. The strategy of the campaign is to raise awareness of the threat to the pier and build public support for the historic pier’s restoration. Our objective is to persuade Parks Victoria and the Victorian Government that the Flinders Pier:
  • Provides a much-loved amenity to the people of Victoria;
  • Has historic significance to the development of adjoining coastal communities;
  • Delivers an economic benefit to Flinders through tourism and commercial use;
  • Provides safe separation of pedestrians from vehicles that access the pier facility; and
  • Serves as a  world-renowned diving spot for the endangered Weedy Sea Dragon that is unique to the Mornington Peninsula.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES – 0418320498

Save Flinders Pier

Heritage Success for Pier

OCTOBER  14th 2022
Community efforts to save our historic pier from demolition have succeeded with today’s decision by the Heritage Council of Victoria to add it to the State Heritage Register.
In a report that runs to over 20 pages, The Heritage Council of Victoria determined that “…. the Flinders Telegraph Cable Complex and Pier, located at The Esplanade, Flinders is of State-level cultural heritage significance and is to be included in the Victorian Heritage Register.” 
The inclusion of Flinders Pier on the State Heritage Register concludes a campaign that drew in nearly 45,000 supporters who spoke out in support of saving the pier and protecting the pier’s habitat, home of the Weedy Sea Dragon. The Flinders Pier is the first pier on the Mornington Peninsula to be listed on the State Heritage Register.
Recognition of the Flinders Pier on the State Heritage Register brings obligations for the long-term preservation and maintenance of the full 320m structure. 
The Flinders Community Association looks forward to working with Parks Victoria on the pier’s restoration and ongoing maintenance.  



Election promise for full restoration of Flinders Pier

September 7th 2022
The Liberal candidate for Nepean, Sam Groth, has promised the Flinders community $3.5m for the conservation and restoration of the historic timber structure.
Mr Groth made the election commitment while meeting locals at the pier on Wednesday 7 September.
He said that the Flinders Pier is an important symbol of maritime history on the Mornington Peninsula; and much loved and used by locals and visitors alike.
In May, the Labor Government announced $1.5m funding for critical works to the first 180m of the pier. Today’s announcement commits a Liberal Government to the restoration of the full pier.
At the moment, we only have funding for repairing the closed section of the pier. Given the whole pier was built at the same time, eventually money will be needed to fix the other sections.
We haven’t yet heard whether the Government will match this pledge.
 In its July Project Update, Parks Victoria announced that engineering studies of the pier were complete and further deterioration has been detected. This highlights the need for urgent attention and a wholistic approach to the restoration of the full timber pier.
Sam Groth was accompanied at the meeting by Shadow Minister James Newbury MP and Cathrine Burnett-Wake MP. Cathrine is the MP who spoke out for Saving Flinders Pier on the floor of Parliament in February.



Pier Update


26 May 2022


Heritage Victoria has announced that it needs to proceed with a hearing into whether the Flinders Pier precinct should be Heritage listed. No-one has objected to the Pier’s listing, however 8 submissions, although supporting the pier’s Heritage Listing, ticked a box asking for a hearing to occur anyway. Unfortunately this will now delay proceedings and a decision.
Parks Victoria was one of the 99 submissions received by Heritage Victoria. Parks Victoria chose to neither support nor object to the listing, instead requesting a few minor variations to ensure that if Flinders Pier is Heritage listed, that it can then lawfully undertake repairs, replace rotting wood, remove and reinstate surface paints, make the pier safe for users etc. Parks Victoria is not one of the parties requesting a hearing.  No objections were received by Heritage Victoria, which is promising. However the requirement for a hearing will cause a delay. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us

Flinders Pier Saved

Flinders Pier Saved – Government to fund restoration
The FCA is pleased to announce that the Victorian Government has reversed its decision to demolish our historic Flinders Pier, and instead agreed to fund its restoration.
The 2022 Victorian Budget (Paper No. 3) released on Tuesday reveals that funding has been set aside to undertake “critical works” on the historic Flinders Pier.
Chris Brayne MP, Member for Nepean, informed the community late yesterday that $1.5m was allocated in this week’s State Budget for the commencement of the pier’s restoration.
The FCA and its Save Flinders Pier group has rallied nearly 45,000 supporters during a 12-month campaign that involved a combined strategy of independent technical studies, strong community advocacy and well organised stakeholder engagement.
This is a significant outcome for the Mornington Peninsula. It is a win for our divers, visitors and commercial operators. And a victory for the people of Flinders, who came together and fought hard to protect an amenity that is popular with many Victorians.
The pier is also an important symbol of our maritime history.
We now turn our minds to the future and look forward to working with Parks Victoria on the timber pier’s full restoration and re-opening to the public.
A decision on Heritage Victoria’s recommendation that the historic pier be added to the Victorian Heritage Register is expected early next month.
Thank you to everyone who has supported our campaign. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Heritage Recommendation for Pier a welcome start

Heritage Recommendation for Pier a welcome start

On 16 March 2022, the Executive Director of Heritage Victoria recommended that Flinders Pier and the Flinders Telegraph Complex be included in the Victorian Heritage Register. The Heritage Victoria recommendation can be read here.

This is still only a recommendation, and a final decision will be made by the Heritage Council of Victoria in June.

Heritage Victoria has based its recommendation on an extensive study which has evaluated the Flinders Pier against 8 criteria, of which three criteria are likely to be satisfied at the State Level. The results are summarised as follows:

Importance To Victoria”s Cultural History –  YES

Contains attributes that are uncommon, rare or endangered – NO

Potential to yield more information about Victoria’s past – YES

Demonstrates characteristics of an historically important event or way of life. NO

Exhibits aesthetic characteristics. NO

Reveals a high degree of creative or technical achievement. NO

Evidence of a strong association to broader community or cultural groups. YES

Associated with the life or work of important Victorian(s). NO

It is possible that additional information from the consultation process could reverse one or more of the above results. In other words, members of the public now have the opportunity to identify anything else that is unique about the Flinders Pier; or prove an association with famous Victorians from our past.

Comments from the broader community will then inform the Heritage Council’s final decision on whether or not to officially include Flinders Pier on the Victorian Heritage Register.

Please have your say by completing the online submission form before the closing date of 17 May 2022. The form will take about 5 minutes to complete.


Flinders Pier Condition Report

In the absence of any detailed engineering assessment by Parks Victoria, the Flinders Community Association has undertaken its own condition report of the Flinders Pier. The report’s findings show that the pier’s entire substructure is in identical condition. In other words, the inner section earmarked for demolition by Parks Victoria is in the same condition as the outer section which Parks Victoria says will be retained. Parks Victoria is arguing that part of the pier has reached the end of its useful life, but not the rest of it, which doesn’t make sense when it is all in the same condition. Condition Assessment – SFP FCA Final Report 2021

Save Flinders Pier

Heritage Application for Flinders Pier

The Flinders Community Association’s campaign to Save Flinders Pier has had a small win, with the Flinders and District Historical Society successfully lodging an application to Heritage Victoria to list the pier on the Victorian Heritage Register. Heritage Victoria will undertake a statutory assessment under the Heritage Act (2017) to review whether the foreshore precinct demonstrates State level significance.  The matter is ultimately determined by the Heritage Council and the full process is likely to take at least six months. The heritage application provides a small reprieve for the historic Flinders Pier, the first 180m of which is scheduled for demolition by Parks Victoria in 2022.

The Flinders Community Association has established a fighting fund to save the pier, and donations to the fund can be made clicking on this link to the MyCause donations platform.

Council Support for Flinders Pier

On 7 September, the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council voted unanimously to support our efforts to Save Flinders Pier. This is an important development in our effort to Stop Parks Victoria from demolishing the historic inner section of the pier.

During the September Council meeting, all Councillors voted unanimously to support Heritage Victoria’s consideration of the Flinders Historic Foreshore Precinct for the Victorian Heritage Register. The Council also acknowledged the advocacy efforts of the community and the FCA to save the pier through gaining media attention and an online petition; and agreed that the Mayor would write directly to the relevant Ministers stating the community and Council’s opposition to the demolition.

The Council also plans to engage external consultants to undertake a peer review of the Marine Ecology Survey that Parks Victoria has prepared ahead of the demolition; as well as peer reviews of the Jetty Removal Impact Assessment and the Heritage Impact Assessment.

We still have a long battle ahead but deeply appreciate Council’s support. Special thanks to Hayden Forrest from the Shire who prepared the recommendation. And also special thanks to Cr. David Gill who spoke extensively in its favour and Cr. Anthony Marsh for his support of the motion.

Support Builds for Flinders Pier

Sir David Attenborough, the greatest conservationist of our time, has lent his support to our efforts to save the habitat of the Weedy Sea Dragon which lives among the pylons of the Flinders Pier.

In a letter last month to the FCA, Sir David wrote:

“I am so sorry to hear of the threat to the habitat of the Weedy Sea Dragon on the Mornington Peninsula. I do indeed think that it is a most wonderful creature and if I find an opportunity to  draw attention publicly to the changes that now threaten its survival, I will take them.”

The letter and our fight to save the historic Flinders Pier sparked considerable interest across the media, featuring on the front page of The Age newspaper, all the nightly television news services, 3AW and on the ABC.

Our petition to save the historic Flinders Pier has since reached 25,000 signatures.

We have learnt that Parks Victoria knew the pier required mi

nor maintenance to the pylons and failed to act in a manner that would ensure the ongoing integrity of the structure. We have also since discovered that Parks Victoria issued a tender in March 2016 for the replacement of decking and timbers for only half the pier – leaving the other half of the pier to fall into disrepair.

Furthermore, Parks Victoria proposes converting the concrete pier, originally built to safely separate vehicles from pedestrians, into a dual-use thoroughfare. Yet the concrete pier, measuring a width of only 4m, is not wide enough for trucks to safely pass pedestrians unless they stand still or walk in single file. In other words, the concrete pier is too narrow for people in wheel chairs or families with prams to safely pass a moving delivery or fuel vehicle under the new arrangements proposed by Parks Victoria.

We need to restore the historic Flinders Pier to ensure the safety of everyone who enjoys it. We need to preserve the habitat of the Weedy Sea Dragon, Victoria’s maritime symbol.

The FCA is continuing to request the State Government to examine options for the restoration of the historic Flinders Pier.

Please help by emailing your State member; writing a letter to your local newspaper; or donating to the FCA’s Save Flinders Pier fighting fund. Even the smallest of voices can make a difference.

Parks Victoria Plans for Pier Demolition

Parks Victoria has engaged consultants to prepare impact assessment reports, including heritage and marine and coastal implications. They expect the reports to be finalised in July 2021. They state

“The community will have the opportunity to participate in consultation activities as part of the preliminary planning and statutory referral stages of the project.”

Detailed information has been supplied here:   Parks Victoria Press release  also in this Community Update  (which they headline “Flinders Jetty sustainable improvements”.

Flinders Jetty – Community Update May 2021

Save The Pier Update

The Committee of the Flinders Community Association has met to discuss next steps, following its Save the Pier public meeting in early May. The FCA believes this will be a ‘long burn’ issue, which means that decisions and actions will take some time to influence and we need to prepare for a drawn-out campaign that could run into next year.

The Committee has decided to focus its attention on two outcomes over the next 8 weeks.

The first is to request a face to face meeting with the Minister, Melissa Horne. The Minister has the power to over-turn decisions, reject advice and instruct her Departments to look at alternatives. It is possible that she may welcome a direct discussion with our community and find value in preserving the pier for future generations of Victorians.

Our second tactic is to continue building online awareness; and getting our message and petition on to as many Facebook pages as we can. A petition with a 1000 signatures is easily ignored. While a petition of 100,000 signatures begins to attract attention. We need to get our message to every single Victorian. This is an issue that is much bigger than Flinders.

The FCA may consider commissioning an independent report including heritage assessment. This depends on cost and will remain an option subject to our discussions with the Minister.

Thank you to all our members for your support and please stay with us as we take our early tentative steps. Please continue to promote our Save the Pier online petition and share it across other media platforms and amongst your friends and family wherever possible.

Flinders Pier Presentation for public meeting – May 2021

Flinders Pier

Online Petition Launched to Save the Pier

An Online Petition has been set-up to mobilise support for saving the Flinders Pier. Please click on this link to electronically sign the petition.

Save The Flinders Pier Campaign Begins

Nearly 300 people packed into the Flinders Hall on Saturday 8 May to discuss the recently announced plans to demolish 180 metres of the historic pier. The plan was announced last year by the Minister for Ports, Fishing and Boating, Melissa Horne MP, but it was not reported in the media at the time. Residents only found out last month thanks to Mornington Peninsula News.

During the meeting, Flinders residents were also informed for the first time that the Government is commencing an assessment for a multi-lane boat ramp on the foreshore of the Flinders beach.

The already endangered weedy sea dragon, an emblem used by the State of Victoria, will be put at significant risk if the Government proceeds with plans to replace the historic Flinders Pier with a concrete boat ramp for jet skis and power boats. Dr Neil Hallam provided a valuable explanation of the Weedy Sea Dragon’s life cycle; and its dependence on the coral that is attached to the pier’s pylons as an important food source.

The meeting was also addressed by local Member of the Legislative Assembly Chris Brayne and Councillor David Gill who both support the preservation of the Flinders Pier. Also in attendance were Mayor of Mornington Peninsula Shire Despi O’Connor and CEO John Baker, along with local diving groups, conservationists, residents and supporters.

The weedy sea dragon lives among the timber pylons that support the pier. Flinders has since become a destination for divers from around the world following a documentary by David Attenborough and the BBC filmed at Flinders about 5 years ago

The historic Flinders Pier dates back to 1866 and was once the only access point to our small village on the Mornington Peninsula. The Flinders Community Association wants the pier to be restored after being allowed to fall into disrepair by the Victorian Government. At the end of the meeting, all those in attendance were asked to give a show of hands if they want the Flinders Pier preserved and restored. The overwhelming vote in favour provides a mandate for the FCA to now move forward and help Save the Flinders Pier. An Online Petition has since been set-up to mobilise broader community support across Victoria.

Flinders Pier Presentation for public meeting – May 2021

Flinders Pier

Proposal For Part Demolition

On 21 July 2020, while Melbourne was in lockdown due to COVID, The Hon. Melissa Horne MP, Minister for Ports and Freight, issued a Media Release announcing details of the Victorian Government’s Better Piers and Waterside Facilities program.

The press release informed Victorians that the Department planned to demolish the inner section of the so-called ‘old’ Flinders Pier.

This announcement occurred without any consultation with the people of Flinders and is opposed by the Mornington Peninsula Shire.

The announcement concerning the Flinders Pier was not widely reported in the media at the time, and most people only became aware of the plans when details were reported in Mornington Peninsula News in March 2021.

The FCA strongly opposes the demolition of any section of the Heritage-listed Flinders Pier which dates back to 1864. The pier is the last all-timber pier in Western Port Bay, and one of the last of its size in Victoria. The pier is an important community asset, benefiting generations of Victorians from all parts of Melbourne and beyond. The timber pier is also home to the endangered weedy sea dragon, attracting divers and researchers from all over the world.

The FCA encourages Parks Victoria, the agency responsible for the pier’s maintenance over many years, to invest in the Pier’s preservation and make it safe for the continued enjoyment of all Victorians.

The FCA has begun mobilising local community groups and stakeholders in an effort to influence the Government to re-consider its decision.

If you can help or support us, please email

Save Flinders Pier