My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Fishing and Boating, and the action that I seek is the immediate allocation of funding that is required to remediate and reopen Hampton Pier. Speaker, this matter may be familiar to you, because this marks the fourth time that I have raised the matter of Hampton Pier in this place. This is in addition to the eight separate written representations addressed to Parks Victoria, the Minister for Fishing and Boating and the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change as well as the Treasurer and more than a dozen questions on notice lodged to the attention of these same ministers. On each of these occasions boaters, fishers, walkers, scout groups, kayakers and I have been left to guess at what the ministers’ repeatedly indirect and ambiguously worded responses mean for the future of our beloved pier. We are also left perplexed and insulted, really, by the decision to convey responses that laud the funding allocated to piers and assets outside of the Sandringham district.
4112 local residents did not sign a petition calling for an out-of-district project to be funded; they signed a petition asking for the minister to do what needs to be done to protect a community asset rich in both historical significance and ongoing contemporary uses. As if this was not bad enough, I note the government’s 2020-21 boating safety and facilities program, a program distributing more than $2 million across 33 projects, contained not a cent of funding for the Hampton Pier. We raised this issue with the government in July last year. How much notice does the government need?
In a letter dated 19 March 2021 I made clear to the minister that if she could not confirm that the state government would fund the restoration of Hampton Pier or the dates by which associated works would commence, our community would proceed on the basis that Hampton Pier is to be closed. I am yet to receive a response to that representation, but when the minister makes remarks in separate articles of correspondence like, quote, ‘If berthing is reinstated at Hampton’ her intent seems pretty clear: no accountability, no transparency and it seems no funding. I think this minister underestimates the combined strength of the Sandringham district community. If this simple and repeated request cannot be met, then this government and this minister better get ready for a whole new wave of ‘pier’ pressure. This is indeed the calm before the storm.