Managerial and Action Plan

Frankston Beach Association Inc. Managerial and Action Plan 2020/2021 

The Frankston Beach Association (FBA) is a voluntary, not-for-profit incorporated organisation established in 1982. FBA works alongside Frankston City Council to safeguard the marine and coastal values of the municipality’s thirteen-kilometre-long stretch of coastline from Carrum to Mount Eliza. We work for the preservation and improvement of coastal foreshore assets and advocate for appropriate environmentally friendly uses of the beach.  

Mission: Our aim is to be a valuable community stakeholder, active worker and advocator for the ongoing preservation and enhancement of the natural marine and coastal values of Frankston which are facing increased pressures from visitor numbers, watercraft use and pollutants.  

About Us: Frankston’s coastline has its northern boundary at Keast Park, Seaford and it continues southwards to the mouth of Kackeraboite Creek, Mount Eliza. FBA focuses principally on the beach area between Olivers Hill and the Mile Bridge, while the Frankston Environment Friends Network (FEFN) and the Friends of Seaford Foreshore Reserve share a common interest in the foreshore reserve between the Mile Bridge and Keast Park.  

Olivers Hill to Mile Bridge

The Frankston Beach Association was first established to champion the cause of the natural 

coastal environment and its unique values in the face of a proposed large boat marina at the base of the iconic Olivers Hill, which posed a threat to the natural, historic, cultural and environment values of the beach. After extensive advocacy, inquiries and panel hearings, the marina proposal was discontinued.  Ever since, FBA has been a key stakeholder working with relevant authorities and the community in balancing protection of natural coastal values with increasing demand for beach and bay uses.  

In collaboration with Frankston City Council, FBA Inc seeks to protect and enhance the key values of Frankston’s coastal foreshore. The following strategic objectives guide our decision making and provide a broad direction for our active participation to conserve and protect biodiversity and ecological integrity:

  • to conserve and protect the value of the land to the culture and heritage of Aboriginal peoples (Boon Wurrung and Bunarong) and conserve and protect other cultural heritage;
  • to encourage recreation, tourism and community use that aids an appreciation of the area’s landscape, natural and cultural heritage values; 
  • to provide for sustainable resource use, and 
  • to improve the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of key values, aid performance assessment and contribute to the scientific basis for improving and adapting future management to achieve best practices.

Currently there are around 75 financial members of the FBA. New members are always welcome. A small group of around 12 members make up a committee of management which generally meets on the 3rd Tuesday of the month. An annual general meeting is held towards the end of each calendar year.  

The annual membership fee is only $10 ($5 concession) and donations are very welcome. In recent years, FBA has been successful in obtaining grants which have primarily been used for foreshore revegetation with plants indigenous to the area and for removal of invasive and introduced weeds.

Frankston Beach Association is proud that our organisation, as well as a number of long-time individual members have received awards over the years in recognition of significant community contribution. As might be expected, there is a wealth of historic knowledge as well as current local knowledge of the bay, creeks and surrounding area.  

Frankston Beach Association receiving award for community contribution

Neil Blake, Port Phillip Baykeeper

Neil Blake, Port Phillip Baykeeper has more than 30 years’ experience in protecting Port Phillip Bay.

As founding director of the EcoCentre, Neil Blake (OAM) has been widely recognised and loved by the community for his deep knowledge, personable character, and extensive experience in environmental management, local history, biodiversity and community development.

The Port Phillip Baykeeper program works with Schools, Government, Researchers, Business and Community to protect Port Phillip Bay. It is a community program of Port Phillip EcoCentre Inc and is affiliated with Waterkeeper Alliance, a global network of nongovernmental advocates for an identified waterway. Waterkeepers are recognised by their community and local government. They advocate compliance with environmental laws, respond to citizen complaints, identify problems which affect their waterway and devise appropriate solutions.

KBR Report

Summary of the KBR Report

At the risk of over simplification, a fair paraphrase of the report in every-day language would be as follows:

  • Using the best techniques and information available the beach is unlikely to wash away.
  • The double arm breakwater with dredging every few years was determined to be the preferred option using a number of subjective assumptions and judgments. Some of these assumptions were that;
    • all weather use by recreational boaters is needed, and
    • the Coast Guard needs to use a conventional propeller driven craft rather than one than could float in shallower water using jet propulsion – such as that presently used by the Water Police.
  • The construction cost of this preferred option would be $17 million (±40%).
  • Water from Sweetwater Creek and local drains are unlikely to change very much.

Download the full report here

Sign the petition to save Frankston Beach

Frankston’s beautiful beaches attract over one million visitors a year for recreation, swimming and wellbeing. They are Frankston’s number one natural asset.

  • Frankston Council plans is to build a breakwater off Olivers Hill, “a rock wall with a road on top for emergency vehicle access” jutting way out into the bay, costing many millions of dollars.
  • The project is being undertaken without adequate studies over sufficient time to ascertain the full impact of littoral drift and other changes to Frankston, Daveys Bay and Seaford beaches. Expert coastal scientific and engineering opinion is that physical and computer modelling is needed over MANY SEASONS, not mere WEEKS for the hydrographic survey planned by Council.
  • THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE MUST BE ADOPTED. Council must undertake every necessary professional study to ensure the ongoing viability and protection of the marine environment, ecosystems, coastal processes, cultural and heritage values, aesthetics, vistas, recreation, tourism and water based activities
  • Other bay beaches have been damaged by construction of breakwaters including Sandringham, Brighton, Hampton and Middle Park.  We must learn from the mistakes made by other Councils.
  • Frankston ratepayers will not be willing to bear ongoing costs for sand replenishment and beach rejuvenation.
  • If beaches are damaged, it is Frankston Council that will be held accountable.

Please join with FBA-the 30 year protectors of Frankston’s beaches- in telling the CEO, Mayor and Councillors WE SAY NO TO THE BREAKWATER at least until proper coastal scientific and engineering processes and physical modelling data show unequivocally that Frankston beach environments will be unspoilt.

Please sign our petition here today.

For more information see or contact us on .

Email to all Frankston Councillors

Individual Councillors : 

1. Mayor Cr Nathan Conroy Email: Phone: 0424 515 930

2. Deputy Mayor Cr Suzette Tayler Email: Ph: 0438 179 515

3. Cr Kris Bolam JP Email: Phone: 0417 921 644

4. Cr Steven Hughes Email: Phone: 0402 729 150

5. Cr Sue Baker Email: Phone: 0438 145 842

6. Cr David Asker Email: Phone: 0438 175 560

7. Cr Brad Hill Email: Phone: 0438 212 426

8. Cr Claire Harvey Email: Phone: 0438 267 778

9. Cr Liam Hughes Email: Phone: 0434 703 239

State Member for Frankston

Paul Edbrooke MP  Phone: (03) 9783 9822

Federal Member for Dunkley

Peta Murphy MP Email:  Phone:  (03) 9781 2333

April council submission

Frankston Beach Association has been a strong advocate for our beach and precious foreshore environment for over 35 years.

The final outcome of this process including the Panel’s recommendation ‘to ensure that development along the Western and Southern boundaries of the Sub-precinct 1B responds to the sensitive interface with Kananook Creek and the surrounding foreshore and established residents area’, which is before Councillors tonight, will NOT celebrate a ‘sensitive interface’.  The built concept has been pushed as far as it possibly can and shows no sign of sensitivity whatsoever.  All our concerns and those of other community groups have fallen on deaf ears.

A series of 20 metre buildings with a few small wind tunnels on a beautiful coastal strip creates a dividing line/disconnection/blocking to the rest of the central business district and to the community at large.

FBA submits that Council should adopt the Planning Practice Note 60:  the Victorian Government’s guide to the drafting of Structure Plans for Activity Centres, which clearly states that mandatory limits will be considered in exceptional circumstances which are identified as –

  • Sensitive coastal environments where exceeding the height limits will unreasonably detract from the significance of the coastal environment, and
  • Significant landscape precincts such as natural waterways…

Precinct 1B fronts onto both of these environments.

Geelong is the only other designated Activity Centre with a coastal aspect.  Obviously this Practice Note 60 is directed towards these two Activity Centres.

Geelong has observed this Practice Note and has introduced lower height levels overlooking its waterfront.  It shows preferred building heights – Western Beach to be 9 metres and the inner Wedge precinct a preferred height of 20 metres.

Frankston’s Amendment C123 has ignored Practice Note 60.   Why?

FBA recommends under 12 metres for a ‘sensitive’ interface’.

Furthermore, FBA recommends that Councillors, before approving C123, consider the Nightingale Projects – inner city housing developments built for growing populations, which adhere to the Nightingale pillars of social, environmental and financial sustainability. There are currently 12 projects in active development. The Nightingale Project is a visionary concept which delivers multi-residential housing in cities which is environmentally sustainable, financially affordable and socially inclusive and which promotes better health and wellbeing outcomes for residents.

Let us also be visionary.  Thank you for your attention.

New plaque installed at Frankston Beach

FBA plaque on rock

Please go and see our recently installed plaque. It’s a few metres in from the south end of the boardwalk, under some Banksias and looks great!

Our Frankston foreshore is at risk and why FBA is so concerned

The following is a summary of FBA’s latest submission on the proposed Coastguard building, safe refuge and breakwater at Olivers Hill, presented at Council Meeting 3rd September 2017.

The community was given 3 days to prepare a submission on the above developments in the Council’s Agenda.

FBA support the volunteer Coastguard and its endeavour to save lives, however, as a Council representing its community we expect some sort of compromise between coastguard service and the preservation of Frankston’s most popular swimming beach – the beach and the foreshore is our greatest asset.

There has been no compromise. The Coastguard Executive Summary Risk Mitigation acknowledged by Council, in its Agenda, states that the key risks relate to understanding “the impact of the breakwater on the coastline and sand movements.”

Council is taking no action to mitigate these risks; this is a major gap and raises questions about the focus and management of the planning and approval process.

Council in consultation with the Coastguard over a 12 month period has ignored the key risks. There is no evidence other options were considered. The rationale provided for the relocation is:

  • the building on the foreshore is in poor condition and no longer fit for purpose
  • Olivers Hill is the only location that offers an opportunity in Frankston

FBA submits that the Coastguard and FCC ought to seek options in support of the Coastguard which will not interfere with coastal processes by using its current location – demolishing and rebuilding and mooring the large rescue boat on the lee side of Frankston pier, thus providing a quick response to emergencies. There is also the vacant information centre available.

These options give the Coastguard a more visible community presence and an opportunity to engage with the Yacht Club rescue activities and with people who are using the Bay.

Historically, all government and private investigations that have been completed at Olivers Hill have insisted that anything to do with coastal processes and structures going out into the Bay must include numerical and physical modelling and the Council and the Minister for Planning has agreed with this through Amendments to the Frankston Planning Scheme –

1999 Panel Report, and the 2003 Minister’s Assessment, C15;

2004 C30 Amendment;

2008 Priority Development Panel Report and the 2009 Planning Scheme Amendment, C50.

FBA’s experience with the history of similar structures in Port Phillip Bay and failure to predict the effects of breakwaters, highlights the need to ensure sand movement is understood and addressed in particular to the north of the proposal; effectively, numerical and more importantly physical modelling.

All the information FBA holds regarding the development proposed at Olivers Hill is the Council’s Agenda 3rd September 2017 and a Scope statement 20th October 2017.  Both of these are inadequate:

The Council’s Agenda 3rd September 2017 documents Federal Government funding $500,000 (which has not been signed off), hydrological plans, concept plans, staged development of a new coastguard building and safe haven at Olivers Hill, but lacks funding for physical and numerical modeling, which should take place prior to the above development.

It is of great concern that despite the ‘key risk’ being identified as ‘understanding the impact of the breakwater on the coastline and sand movements,’ there is no action to quantify what will occur.

Council in the Agenda states indicative costs:

“$145,000 for a Hydrological Study and concept design of breakwater (utilising part of the %500K Federal Government grant currently awaiting approval);

$15,000 for a Geotechnical Report for new building location;

$14,000 for a Concept design for new building.

The anticipated total project cost of the relocation of the building carpark and landscaping….is in the order of $.5M. In addition, the total cost of the breakwater is estimated to be …$3M.”

Council also recommended “wholesale reconstruction of existing HQ.”

Gillian Kay, Frankston Council’s Director Community Development, 20 October 2017 emailed the following scope to community members who attended a meeting 18th October 2017 –

The project is for the development of plans through hydrographic surveys and modelling and part construction of a breakwater in front of the Oliver’s Hill foreshore boat ramp.  The breakwater is envisaged to be constructed as a rock wall with a road on top for emergency vehicle access and includes lighting and CCTV.  It will provide safe refuge for small recreation craft and police boats in heavy weather and a secure permanent mooring in 2 – 3 metres depth for the Frankston Volunteer Coast Guard rescue vessel.  It will also enable all weather launching facilities for recreational vessels in the southern region of Port Phillip and include pedestrian access for visitors with views across Port Phillip Bay.  Pedestrian access will also allow for fishing, diving and other activities off the breakwater. 

The above scope provides sufficient information for the experts to collect data and undertake modelling of conditions that will inform the development of concept plans.” Gillian Kay.

What is of great concern for FBA and the community is that the coastguard proposal will require a very large road going out to sea in 2-3 metres of water without, we believe, giving consideration of the effect this large dense structure will have on the sediment (sand) movement and the loss of our sandy beaches.

FBA sought advice as follows:

Comment provided in response to the project scope by a geomorphologist states:

“I would be very worried by the vagueness of the Scope as stated by Gillian Kay.

It states ‘… development of plans through hydrographic surveys and modelling … ‘ ‘Hydrography’ by all definitions (geological and dictionary) means ‘the science that deals with the physical aspects of waters on the earth’s surface, esp. the compilation of navigational charts of bodies of water’. It does not refer specifically to the effects and impacts of moving water on sediment or other features (natural or otherwise) of a coast. An important matter for any survey would be the impact of a solid barrier structure on sand movement, erosion etc., especially a barrier long enough to get into deep water (2–3 m is mentioned). That requires study by a coastal geomorphologist who has had experience in such structures — the Victorian coast has had numerous cases where structures have produced adverse results, especially with sand depletion or accumulation in the ‘wrong’ places. The average engineer does not have this expertise.

It then mentions modelling. What sort of modelling? Again, it takes a coastal specialist to do this properly. Is it expected that the survey will investigate previous studies that have been done in this situation, or others that can be regarded as comparable (which depends on all sorts of factors such as orientation, weather patterns, seasonal changes, tidal ranges etc.).

I disagree with Gillian Kay’s statement: The above scope provides sufficient information for the experts to collect data and undertake modelling of conditions that will inform the development of concept plans. It gives no indication of the potential issues that would need to be addressed, and the level of investigation that would be required.

I would also be concerned that it refers to ‘part construction of a breakwater’. It would be quite inappropriate to start a construction without a final plan based on thorough preliminary investigation.”

The project, with the support of the Councillors, risks destroying an unspoiled natural environment used by 1000’s of people. FCC does not have the understanding of coastal processes and it appears it has no intention of carrying out coastal modelling, PRIOR to the other studies it proposes.

Numerical and physical modelling is estimated to cost under $500K.  Compare this with the cost of the proposed development and the impact on our foreshore and beaches.

FBA took Leon’s advice and enquired whether KRB (the engineering company Council has commissioned) a geomorphologist on its team –

We confirmed the following:

KBR has a Coastal Geomorphologist within their team who can be consulted as required to ensure they have a good understanding of both water based and land based coastal processes. The report council is intending to engage KBR for will include reviewing reports done by other consultants and state government departments over previous years as well as undertaking their own analysis on historical and current conditions of the shoreline, dunes and vegetation. Combining historical and current land and water data with the latest hydrographic modelling this will inform their component of the report which will assess what effect the installation of a breakwater is likely to have on the hydrography, beaches and dune systems along Frankston’s coastline.

This statement appears to be ambiguous in the sense that consulting the geomorphologist will be a minor study – the Hydrological study is the primary area; it is not a littoral process associated with sand movement arising from effects of currents, waves and tides and in particular in the context of changing climate conditions.

In view of the risks to our beaches and foreshore, FBA approached Neil Blake, the Baykeeper, regarding the large breakwater and boat refuge at Olivers Hill.  Neil offered to join with FBA and conduct a numerical exercise to develop a profile method for monitoring change in beach and intertidal sand surface that records the surface level of sand across Frankston beach and intertidal zone over 12 months in 4 quarterly sessions

This study was developed with a geomorphologist from the University of Melbourne.  We commenced our profiling on 21st October 2017 and will continue quarterly   Neil has already completed 12 monthly profiling of McCrae and Middle Park beaches and this will continue for another 12 months.  The minimum for collecting data for numerical modelling is 12 months.

Another aspect to be considered is the advice of Captain Frank Hart, Master Mariner regarding the planned location of the safe refuge, which will be exposed to the dominant onshore winds.  There is no shelter available near-by.  If yachts, small boats are unable to enter the boat harbour in strong onshore winds there is no suitable alternatives – in all designs to date the problems of a dangerous lee shore have not been recognised and have been ignored.

In view of all the above facts, to call the planned harbour a safe refuge is misleading and inaccurate in adverse weather conditions. In such conditions Olivers Hill because of its exposed location, is a place where a skipper should think long and hard before choosing to lose sea room and head towards the harbour to seek refuge.

Under such conditions, Frankston will be attracting boats at sea into a dangerous situation.

Finally, Frankston Council needs to understand the risks to their major recreational activity area in Frankston and steadfastly protect it.  The long sweep of shoreline from Olivers Hill through to Seaford is unparalleled as a natural beachscape and should not be destroyed through inadequate planning processes.

Frankston ratepayers will not thank Council if it burdens them with remedial works in perpetuity.

Image via Herald Sun.

OAM for Frankston Beach Association’s former secretary

Long serving member of the Frankston Beach Association, Kathleen Hassell has received the Order of Australia Medal in the 2017 Queens Birthday Honours List for services to Conservation and the Environment.

Nearing her 90th year and still working tirelessly for the environment, Kathleen Hassell is best described as a “Lioness of the Environment”.

Kathleen has devoted a lifetime to volunteering for the communities in which she has lived to save the environment including motivating and involving others. Kathleen joined with other early members of FBA embracing the knowledge she had attained on coastal vegetation and indigenous plants and identifying weeds and plants that were destructive to the area while gathering a network of like-minded people around her.

Working with the FBA Kathleen has overseen the planting of tens of thousands of indigenous plants since 1995 and secured Government grants of approximately $200,000. Kathleen’s work has greatly contributed to the magnificent restoration of a very special beach. Kathleen formed a relationship with the local indigenous community, the local Historical Society and other Friends of the Environment groups. Kathleen has prepared and presented many protest documents to protect the Frankston beach foreshore and Port Phillip Bay. She is highly respected in the local community and is considered a community treasure.

Her work has been acknowledged by receiving the following awards:

  • Outstanding Individual Achievement Award (Victorian Coastal Awards for Excellence) 2013
  • Dame Phyllis Frost Award(Keep Australia Beautiful Awards) 2011
  • Frankston City’s Citizen of the Year 2000
  • Frankston City’s Environmental Pioneers Award 2000

Kathleen’s work continues to this day through active involvement in the Frankston Beach Association including providing morning teas for volunteers, by writing submissions (including grant applications) and through her role in mentoring others. Kathleen epitomizes a true community conscience and care for the land she lives on and has always worked to leave our environment in the best state she can for future generations.

Congratulations and thank you Kathleen!

You can find out more about Kathleen’s latest award here.

Frankston City Council Proposed Council Plan

Frankston Beach Association’s submission to Frankston City Council’s proposed council plan 2017-2021.

Thank you for the invitation to comment on Frankston City Council Proposed Council Plan 2017 -2021.

Our Association is very concerned to see the Safe Boat Harbour featuring as a second priority project on the Proposed Council Plan and firmly believe it should be removed from the Council Plan.

Some sort of boating facility has been on the Council’s agenda for 30 years and despite many concepts for a marina/safe boat harbour, it has never been completed due to environmental concerns, financial viability and negative community feedback.

Finally in 2016, the SUZ3 22ha.Safe Boat Harbour was deleted from the new Municipal Strategic Statement C100 in the Frankston Planning Scheme. A primary planning document approved by Council and the Minister for Planning.

What is on the drawing board for now:

The current Frankston City Council Proposed Council Plan 2017-2021 is in direct conflict with the MSS C100 by including construction of a safe boating harbour at Olivers Hill and a new Coastguard Building.

The Coastal Management Plan (CMP); also approved by Council is inconsistent with the MSS C100. The SUZ3 has remained in the CMP and Council can apply for an extension of time if plans for a Safe Boat Harbour have not been finalised by November 2017.

Does Council support the MSS C100 or was it a waste of time and money? Why does Council flagrantly disregard it? We are seeking clarity on where the two plans above fit in reference MSS C100?

Council and council officers should ensure their planning strategy and documents align with the MSS C100 or questions should be raised about their competence, review processes, integrity and governance.

What is the next step?

In applying for an extension to SUZ3 it appears Council has on its agenda the 22ha. Olivers Hill Safe Boat Harbour.  Is this what is proposed in the Frankston City Council Proposed Council Plan 2017-2021?

FBA submits that the SUZ3 be deleted from the Frankston City Council Proposed Council Plan and the CMP thus removing the large Safe Boat Harbour and aligning with the MSS C100.

A promise of $500,000 from the Federal Government for a breakwater seawall has lead to the revival of the safe boat harbour concept on the Council agenda.

FBA submits that the $500,000 donated for a marina would be better used for the long overdue cleanup and restoration of Kananook Creek.

Regarding the Coastguard facility, is Council aware that there is currently a move for marine services to consolidate the number of flotillas around the Bay?  FBA oppose the Coastguard building at Olivers Hill because of the negative impact on coastal processes. The Frankston Coastguard is a very small flotilla and could be suitably accommodated at Carrum Coastguard, close to where its large boat is stationed.

Supporting evidence

Council should consider advice and evidence that has been gathered over a number of years from highly qualified geomorphologists and coastal engineers and the following advice by Dr Eric Bird is an example: “The notion that the proposed safe boat harbour will have minimal impact on the coastal processes echoes assurances regarding marina projects on the coast of Victoria notably Portland, Warrnambool, Apollo Bay, St. Kilda, Middle Brighton, Sandringham and Lakes Entrance- all of which have on-going problems. Most relevant is Sandringham, in a similar location to Frankston proposal. There is the risk that any proposed marina south of Frankston will have a similar effect on sand movement, resulting in the trapping of sand along the protruding structure and consequent depletion of beaches and coastline erosion at and north of Frankston and in Daveys Bay”.

More recent supporting evidence is the damage to Blairgowrie beach. Adjacent beaches lost sand following the installation of boat berths and ugly groynes have been installed in an attempt to restore the beaches. Not a good look. Is this what Council wants for Frankston Beach?

FBA have a report dated 16th November 2016 from the Senior Project Manager, Dept. of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, which was investigating re-nourishment of the Frankston South beach.  The site was found unsuitable for beach re-nourishment unless they constructed extremely large groynes.  The introduction of long groynes would have significant downdraft affects on the existing Frankston beach, so the decision was made to no longer consider the Frankston site. There is a risk that any proposed safe boat harbour would have a similar effect.

To safeguard Frankston’s beaches, the SUZ3 Safe Boat Harbour must be deleted from the Frankston City Council Proposed Council Plan 2017-2021 and the Coastal Management Plan.

The beach is Frankston’s greatest asset and Council should not risk the enjoyment of tens of thousands of beachgoers to satisfy a few hundred boat users. Frankston rate payers will not thank you if you burden them with remedial works in perpetuity.

Kathleen Hassell, Committee Member
Frankston Beach Association Inc.
22nd May 2017


Foreshore Planting

The Frankston foreshore continues to be a challenge. The summer of 2013/2014 brought little rain. Months of very dry conditions exacerbated the difficult growing conditions for newly planted tube stock.

The eroded southern beach was replenished with 15,000 cubic metres of sand in late 2013 just prior to the start of summer. Included in the works was the erection of an erosion control fence. Recent heavy winter storms have put the new works to the test with many recently placed plants being washed away. Fortunately the sand has remained on the beach.

This year working bees on the foreshore began on March 31. To date seven working bees have been carried out, including a supplementary day on the south beach. Other than the extra day on the south beach, all working bees occurred on the foreshore between Mary Street and Wells Street. Volunteers and Frankston City Foreshore and Reserves staff have planted 3200 endemic shrubs, grasses and trees to date. Two of the days were principally assigned to weed removal, particularly Gazania species which is rife in sections of the dunes.

A total of 3,800 tubes are to be planted along the Mary Street/Wells Street foreshore. These plants supplied by the Frankston Indigenous Nursery were paid by surplus funds from the Mary Street project (3000) and Beach Street project (800).

Frankston Beach Association working bees have been successful because of a dedicated of band of volunteers, aided by Chisholm TAFE Certificate 1 in Transition Education students and of course the Frankston City Council (FCC) Foreshore and Reserves staff.

The number of volunteers has increased this year thanks largely to notices in the Frankston City insert in the local Leader newspaper.

Why do people volunteer? When asked why she volunteered her time revegetating Frankston’s foreshore, Avelen Jackson replied, “to help preserve the natural environment for future generations”. Neil Robinson said he “liked working outdoors and enjoyed the company” and Dongmei Zhao says she “likes to work outdoors”.

Further Working bees are planned until mid October. Another activity this year included National Tree Day on Sunday July 27.

The Frankston foreshore needs friends who are willing to weed and plant on a regular basis. Our Association encourages and supports community volunteers, including volunteers from education institutions. Working bees are held once a fortnight during the planting season. This year Monday is our scheduled day for working on the foreshore.

Chisholm TAFE students regularly participate in the planting on the foreshore. Here are some comments from members of their group:

“I am working to save the environment, and planting on the foreshore will make it better for the future. I feel part of the community and it motivates me to work hard because it will assist in saving the foreshore”.

“I am proud to do this work for the survival of the foreshore and for the community to enjoy”.

“Love planting on the foreshore – we have to be careful of the little plants”.
“It was windy and cold today – we love morning tea”.

“Love doing this for the community. It is really nice to know that I can help in making the foreshore a better place”.

“It makes me happy and motivated to plant on the foreshore and survival of the little plants is very important to keep the beach healthy”.

This article was originally published in 2014.

Weeds invading our foreshore reserves

Bridal Creeper

One of the worst weeds on the foreshore is Bridal Creeper, (Myrsiphyllum asparagoides). It is a creeper that spreads via seed eating birds and animals, and also via many underground corms. Roots grow from wherever the vine touches the ground. If left to grow freely it can completely smother the indigenous vegetation. Fortunately biological controls have been found to succeed in controlling the plant with the use of a rust fungus and a mite, which together have suppressed the spread of this extremely invasive climber. Originating in South Africa, it was a popular hanging basket plant sold by many nurseries in the past!


Another South African plant, which grows to a 5 meter shrub, is Boxthorn (Lycium ferocissum). Aptly named, it has 15cm long spines on its branches making it impossible to remove by human hand. The council has resorted to using big machinery to extract them, trying not to leave the large thorns in the dunes. Again it is spread by birds and animals eating the bright red fruit. It replaces the natural shrubs of the foreshore such as coastal ti tree, coastal beardheath and boobialla, the major shrubs of the Coastal Dune Scrub.

Mirror Bush

The New Zealand Mirror Bush (Coprosma repens), displaces indigenous shrubs too. This exotic weed grows rapidly on the coast, spreading in exactly the same manner with its red berries. Removal is easier (no thorns) by sawing and applying herbicide to the stumps. Disturbance and clearing of vegetation creates the ideal situation for the introduction of more weeds, such as veldt grasses or deadly nightshade, so it is paramount to manage an area properly and clear at a time when replacement is going to be successful, by planting or direct seeding, timing and season being considered.

Marram Grass

One of the most natural looking grass weeds of the foredune is Marram Grass (Ammophilla arenaria), a European tussock introduced for dune stabilisation. It can take over the role of the indigenous hairy spinifex, but if examined closely the dune form is quite different. The tall tussock forms a clump creating steep sided dunes, whereas the horizontal runners of the Spinifex sericeus encourage wide gently sloping dunes less prone to erosion. To remove the weed when it is the only plant binding the sand would be deleterious, but gradual replacement with the well adapted Spinifex would improve the quality and stability of the foredune. Where healthy areas of Spinifex exist any marram grass encroaching should be removed, by cutting and painting with herbicide.


Over the years, the bright yellow flowers of the Gazania species that has colonised the coastal areas of Frankston have slowly disappeared thankfully, as this south African plant exudes a chemical inhibiter around it, discouraging growth of the natural vegetation, ensuring its own survival and spread along the length of the foreshore. This is an escaped garden plant, like so many of our weeds. When residences are close to the foreshore reserve, the likelihood of this happening with other garden plants is high, particularly if garden rubbish is dumped on the dunes.

Other Weeds

Polygala myrtifolia, a south African shrub, is one that is often planted for its bright purple pea flowers and spreads rapidly on coastal areas.

Other weeds found on Frankston Foreshore:

  • Hare’s Tail (Lagurus ovatus)
  • Cape Ivy (Delairea odorata)
  • European Sea Rocket
  • Dolechos (Dipogon lignosis)
  • Cape Broom (Genista monspessulana)
  • Angled Onion
  • Buffalo Grass
  • Tamarisk
  • Sweet Hakea (Hakea suaveolens)
  • Sea wheat grass (Thinopyrum junceum)

The most difficult two weeds to identify on the foreshore are Sallow Wattle (Acacia longifolia) and the South African species of Carpobrotus, as they are visually fairly close to their indigenous counterparts, Coastal wattle (Acacia sophorae) and Pigface (Carpobrotus rossi).

Flora associated with the reserve

Indigenous Species

More than 50 indigenous plants can be found in the reserves along the Frankston foreshore.

Trees include:

  • Coastal Banksia
  • Tea-tree
  • Coast Wattle
  • Boobialla
  • Drooping She-Oak

Smaller shrubs include:

  • Coast Beard-Heath
  • Seaberry Saltbush
  • Coast Daisy Bush
  • Sea Box
  • Coast Everlasting
  • Sticky Daisy-bush
  • Coast Pomaderris
  • Coast Salt Bush
  • White Correa

Climbers and groundcovers include:

  • Knobby Club Rush
  • Clematis
  • Pigface
  • Bower Spinach
  • Climbing Lignum
  • Running Postman

Grasses include:

  • Spinifex
  • Coast Tussock Grass

Remnant indigenous vegetation on the Frankston foreshore can be divided into four ecological vegetation classes:

  • Coastal Dune Grassland (dominated by spinifex and coast salt bush)
  • Coast Banksia Woodland (dominated by coastal banksia)
  • Coastal Dune Scrub (dominated by coastal tea-tree)
  • Coastal Headland Scrub (Olivers Hill, where all plants are highly wind pruned).

Regardless of which vegetation class a plant falls under, they are all faced with surviving in very harsh conditions,  mostly on shore salt laden winds, waves and tides, seasonal littoral drift of the beach sand and sandy infertile soils.

It is essential to retain the remnant indigenous vegetation along the Frankston foreshore, to rehabilitate areas where this has been lost and to rejuvenate weed infested areas.
We need a healthy dune system. That means healthy vegetation in all its array of varied plants – the canopy, shrubs, grasses, lilies, sedges and herbs.


A weed is a plant that does not belong to the Ecological Vegetation Class (E.V.C.), of the area. A weed can be a threat to the indigenous vegetation by spreading rapidly, replacing or smothering indigenous plants and inhibiting the germination or growth of natural plants.

The viability of an ecological vegetation class can be compromised, sometimes devastated.

Spring Newsletter 2022

Spring is here – finally!
Catch up on FBA’s 40th AGM with guest speaker Ian Stevenson (Mornington Peninsula Fossil Beach Interest Group), FBA Life Memberships, foreshore & planting, FCC’s draft FMAC plan and more.

Winter 2022 Newsletter

Happy 40th Birthday FBA!

AGM featuring guest speaker Ian Stevenson “Fossil Beach Mornington and surrounding coastline”.

Saving Frankston Beach and more…


It’s been a busy summer!! Saving Frankston Beach, and Pier underlighting win. Working bees are back! Join us. Frankston Metropolitan Activity Centre (FMAC) Structure Plan is in progress – have your say. Read all about it:


Read about the upcoming Boardwalk Lighting plan, FCC’s surprise Coast Guard storage idea for Olivers Hill, PIPE UP Frankston Facebook page, our very own lifetime member Bob Graham and more.

In Memoriam


Frankston Beach Association (FBA) mourns the recent death at age 93 of long-serving and dearly loved and respected member Kathleen Hassell OAM.
During four decades with the Frankston Beach Association, Kath was successful in obtaining grants for some 300,000 plants. Kath loved the coastal vegetation and was actively involved in foreshore planting, destructive weed identification and seed propagation having learnt the skills from First Nation people. When she could no longer undertake the physical work, she continued until very recently to provide delicious homemade morning teas for the volunteers following their working bee toils.
Kath formed relationships with Friends of the Environment groups, the local indigenous community and the local Historical Society. She followed the work of Grace Fraser, a horticulturalist with an extensive knowledge of indigenous plants and admired the ideas of esteemed mariner Captain Frank Hart. Kath befriended them and worked together with them on important projects in the local area.
It was fitting that her work was recognised by being awarded (in her ninetieth year) the Order of Australia Medal in the 2017 Queens Birthday Honours List . Other awards Kath received are:
• Outstanding Individual Achievement Award, Victorian Coastal Awards for Excellence 2013
• Dame Phyllis Frost Award (Keep Australia Beautiful Awards) 2011
• 2011 Victorian Landcare Long Service Honour Roll – Platinum Category to recognise her 25 plus years of volunteering.
• Frankston Senior Citizen of the Year in 2000
• Frankston Council – Environmental Pioneer Award in 2000

Kath will be remembered as a warrior (she was referred to as “a lioness of the environment”) in her mission to preserve her beloved Frankston Beach and Olivers Hill “for all to use” and importantly for future generations. Many attempts over the years to build a marina/boat harbour at the base of Olivers Hill were successfully thwarted largely due to Kath’s skills as an environmental activist, marshalling the local and wider community to fight these attempts. Kathleen lived the words of Margaret Mead “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”. The Olivers Hill area remains unspoilt to this day.

Kathleen and her husband George (a champion Essendon footballer who played in five grand finals in four years- including a drawn game) married in 1953 and brought up their 4 children in Keilor, where she fought to save Steeles Creek -an old quarry site. It is now a thriving inner urban strip of greenery with a healthy flowing creek. Whilst holidaying in Canada, she and her husband had researched and visited an old quarry site and bought back photos and ideas to inspire the local community and Council to turn this area into parkland. Kath’s leadership skills were paramount in this conservation project.
While raising their family, Kath’s love of politics inspired her to undertake a degree at La Trobe University majoring in Literature and Politics. Her children recall going to the Dome reading room at the State library with their mother who instilled in them a love of reading and libraries .
Kath retained her interest in politics listening to a podcast of Whitlam’s dismissal and excitedly watched Joe Biden’s US election win days before her death.
Kath had qualified as a librarian and worked for many years at St Bernard’s College. She was a wonderful researcher and networker. She spent days reviewing reports and planning documents and preparing detailed submissions (which remain legendary in FBA to this day). She sought the advice of experts like geomorphologists, coastal engineers and horticulturalists. Kath was also highly skilled in preparing grant applications.
With her excellent interpersonal skills, Kath built relationships with local politicians, municipal councillors, council workers, local newspapers and a wide range of organizations and individuals. Kath was courageous in her commitment to hold elected representatives to account.
Kath actively participated in our political system. She held Labor party meetings in her lounge room, wore ‘It’s Time’ badges during the 1972 Federal election and handed out how to vote cards at elections. She attended rallies and protest marches against Vietnam War and capital punishment. Kath was a feminist and joined the Women’s Electoral Lobby to support women’s rights and gender equality. Kath was appalled by the treatment of refugees.
To the end, Kath was renowned for her generosity (she was always willing to advocate for a donation to a worthy cause) and for her generosity of spirit. Kath was staunchly loyal in her political persuasion but at the same time she was sensitive to difference, mindful and respectful of the views of others and willing to listen. Kath was wise and grounded.
Kath was loved and respected by all who knew her. Her family was devoted to her and with their support was able to remain in her home where she never ceased to enjoy the everchanging seascapes and skies from her front window.
Kath will be remembered for her kindness and her caring towards those fortunate enough to have known her and towards those less fortunate in the lottery of life. With a lifetime of volunteering, she was still working for the St Vincent de Paul Society until shortly before her death.
Kath’s passing has left a huge hole in our hearts and lives. We feel inspired and honored to say Kath has left this world a better place. She has also left a wonderful legacy- giving us all a blueprint for a life well lived.