Newsletter Summer 2021-22
Public Open Meeting
The Committee of Management would like to invite members of the public to join us for our annual Public Open Meeting. This meeting gives us a chance to explain to you what we do and gives you a chance to ask questions of our committee and manager.
Date: 15th January 2022
Where: Robertsons Park
Covid Safe Summer
The Balnarring Foreshore Committee of Management and their staff are committed to ensuring the health and safety of both residents and visitors to the Balnarring Foreshore and Parks Reserve.
The Balnarring Beach Foreshore and Parks Reserve is managed according to our Coastal Management Plan, our Emergency Management Plan (2021), our COVID-Safety Plan and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s Summer Plan.
We have put in place a range of COVID-Safe practices to ensure the health and safety of residents and visitors alike. These are outlined in our COVID-Safe Plan and include the use of QR codes for contact tracing of all campers, automated hand sanitizer dispensers at the entry to all toilets, density limits in amenities blocks, additional cleaning and signage promoting COVID-safe practices. You can find out more information at www.balnarring.net/covidsafe
Each year we welcome nearly 3000 couples, families, scout, social and school groups to camp at Balnarring Beach. The income generated by the campers is retained in the local area and helps fund maintenance of the parks and reserves for the enjoyment of all Victorians.
Demand for campsites over the summer holidays and long weekends has meant that the camping grounds are often fully booked. Our Camping Permit Policy recognises families have camped at Balnarring Beach for generations. So we allow visitors to rebook for the following year during their stay. If you or your friends wish to book at these times we recommend booking well in advance or joining our waitlist.
Balnarring Foreshore Interpretive Trail
The Balnarring Foreshore Interpretive Trail is a way to learn more about the areas natural and cultural heritage values while exploring the Balnarring Foreshore.
There is an online quiz that is perfect if the weathers not great for the beach. It will keep you busy exploring all corners of the reserves for answers. Mare information and a map of the waypoints on the trail can be found at https://balnarring.net/trail/
Horses on Balnarring Beach
Horses have been riding on Balnarring Beach since the Grimwade’s took possession of the lands at Coolart in the 1890’s. Sid Fergusson also bred horses in the 1950’s on the lands to the west of the Balnarring Beach Road and horses were regularly ridden beach.
Interest in riding on the beach has grown significantly over recent years. Recreational riders enjoy a relaxing ride on the beach with a chance to sight a dolphin in the waters of Westernport Bay. While racehorse trainers like to work their horses in the sand and wade in the water to recuperate after racing. Famous visitors to the beach include locally bred Kingston Town and three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva.
The increasing numbers of riders has led to increased pressure on the natural values of the beach. The Balnarring Beach Foreshore and Parks Reserve Committee of Management (CoM) have a permit system in operation to manage horse riding on the beach. The CoM reviews the permit conditions annually and have adopted new conditions for 2021-22.
The principal changes include reducing the maximum number of permits held by any one person, reducing the number of rides allowed on each permit, reducing the number of commercial permits and increasing the number of recreational permits, stopping the soft sand riding and stopping riding on the beach when the tide is above 2.8m.
The changes have reduced the number of rides on the beach by over 60%, protected the dunes from erosion, protected all nest sites and reduce the impact on the amenity of the beach.
Local residents meet on the last Sunday of each month to work on some of the public facing areas of the reserve. Their tasks include weed removal, rubbish collection and planting of new grasses, shrubs and trees grown from seed in our polyhouse.
The volunteers, led by Rupert Steiner (ex President) and Suze Kepert (Landcare supervisor), make a significant contribution to the conservation to the foreshore. You can join them at 10am on the last Sunday of the month and enjoy a complimentary drink at the Tulum store at midday after a morning on the reserve.
Every year we undertake tree works in the Reserves. The works are an important part of our risk management program. Arborists undertake an inspection of all the trees marking those that are in need of works with a small metal numbered tag.
Each year we undertake works on ‘Immediate’ and ‘High’ risk trees to reduce the chances of injury due to trees or branches falling in high winds or hot days. The tree works cannot guarantee the safety of campers so we recommend placing your camping equipment carefully to avoid large overhanging branches.
This year we had substantial damage during the storms that hit on the Cup Day long weekend. This event forced us to revisit our Emergency Management Plan (see https://balnarring.net/wp-content/uploads/Emergency-Management-Plan-2021.pdf). Under the revised plan the park will close when strom force winds are forecast. We also ask that visitors pack down any 3×3 gazebos if they are going to be off site for greater than 24hrs.
We have many visitors and their dogs at this time of the year. We remond you that dogs must be on lead at all times while on the beach. They are also prohibited between 9am and 7pm during daylight savings time and not allowed within the camping grounds at any times.
Significant fines apply for dog owners breaching the regulations. There are additional patrols by our team as well as Mornington Peninsula Shire Rangers over summer holidays.
The Balnarring Foreshore Committee of Management has established Memorandum of Understanding’s (MOU’s) with many residents who neighbor the Foreshore Reserves. The MOU’s allow residents to take an active role in looking after the Foreshore Reserve immediately in front of their homes.
In practice this means residents can assist with weeding, planting and pruning to maintain the amenity of their property. In turn we undertake any poisoning of weeds and provide native plants from our nursery. If you would like to have an MOU with the foreshore please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
C Reserve Upgrade
We are planning on upgradin the toilets in C reserve over the winter. The $165k project will include a complete refit of the amenities block in C reserve camping ground. This includes the replacement of roofing, flooring, all fittings and fixtures and installation of a camp kitchen. The project will be paid for by accrued camping fees and a $113k Caravan Aprks and Camping Grounds Grant from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Works are scheduled to commence after Easter 2022.