ANGER is building over further damage to Mornington Pier in yesterday’s storms.
Parts of the pier are off limits for the second time in three months after damage to wave panels, railings and the deck caused by 100km/h winds whipping up wild seas.
A $15.3 million upgrade of the pier completed last year was intended to provide greater protection for boats in Mornington Harbour.
Stuart Maconachie, who owns charter fishing company Bay Fish’n’Trips, said people were horrified and disgusted the pier had again been damaged.
He said the fury of the weekend weather was not surprising — and the pier should be able to handle the conditions.
“I don’t think it has been designed to handle what we get at Mornington,” he said.
“When we get a big northerly like that, it’s colossal.
“We’ve always had big storms like this and we’ll continue to get them.
“The new pier will never be able to hold on — it’s going to fall apart. I’m quite sure this structure will never hold up.”
In July, parts of the pier were closed after a storm damaged some of the wave panels underneath.
Parks Victoria spokesman Lachlan Quick said unstable conditions since then had hampered repair work to those panels.
“The wave panels removed in July have not been able to be replaced, which meant reduced protection during yesterday’s storm,” he said.
“As a result further panels have been lost.
“The outer section and the lower landing are closed to protect visitor safety and allow engineering inspections.”
Mr Quick said Parks Victoria was very keen to get in and assess the situation as soon as it was safe to do so.
New timber decking, a lower landing, handrails, and seating and lighting were installed, as well as the wave screens along the 123-metre long pier, to provide increased protection for berthed and moored boats in Mornington Harbour.
At the time of the pier’s reopening a year ago, Ports Minister Luke Donnellan said the upgrade would “ensure the safety and comfort of all visitors, as well as local boaters and fishers for years to come”.
A flood of comments on social media sites are questioning the engineering of the redesign and whether the pier will ever stand up to the increasing number of severe storms.