A SECTION of Boyd Jetty in Williamstown has collapsed, with one side of the pier subsiding, leaving all three piers at Seaworks closed amid concerns for public safety.
Commissioner’s Jetty has ceased to operate as a berthing facility due to concerns for structural issues; and likewise Workshop Pier has recently needed to close to vehicular access.
Not-for-profit community group Seaworks Foundation is working with both Parks Victoria and the Victorian state government, and the consultants undertaking the Williamstown Maritime Precinct Study to identify infrastructure needs for Williamstown as a key maritime precinct.
Seaworks Foundation has been leasing the former Melbourne Harbour Trust site which includes Boyd Jetty, Commissioner’s Jetty, and Workshop Pier from the state government through Parks Victoria since 2006.
Boyd Pier was initially constructed in 1920, reconstructed in 1950, and although under state government ownership has had no significant infrastructure work undertaken from the late 1990’s onwards.
Glenn Jones, executive officer of Seaworks, said the condition of the piers has been deteriorating for some time but in recent months have become significantly worse.
“We have taken the drastic step of barricading Boyd Pier off and have erected notices warning of the danger posed.
“It is unrealistic to think that jetties and piers around the bay, including those at Seaworks, can be adequately maintained without significant and ongoing investment by government and other agencies.
“As part of our ongoing commitment to the foreshore and public safety we are currently investigating measures to ensure the ongoing integrity of the existing structure.”
Reviews of the pier infrastructure undertaken by Seaworks in 2017 indicated that the Boyd Pier was in a poor condition, and it was subsequently closed to unrestricted public access.
Although Workshop Pier will continue to provide berthing facilities to a number of craft, Seaworks has long identified that all three jetties in the precinct require significant multi-million dollar investment to enable continued operation as a working maritime precinct.
Seaworks Foundation is a not-for-profit community organisation, generating limited revenue through berthing fees and venue hire, falling far short of what is required to save these iconic maritime landmarks.
Mr Jones acknowledges that whilst the repair costs are substantial, “once work is undertaken and the piers and jetties are re-opened, the increase in tourism revenue and the significant benefits to the Williamstown community will far outweigh the rebuilding costs”.