A popular Mt. Martha cliff-jumping site, The Pillars, remains open despite a decision by Mornington Peninsula Shire to close the site nearly three months ago.
The ban was passed by the council on 24 January, following complaints from residents and concerns of littering, vandalising and eroding coasts.
Mornington Peninsula Shire mayor Bev Colomb told The Age on 27 January that “the area would be patrolled until a permit was issued to build the fence.”
But no fences or additional signage have been installed since the council’s decision and patrons of the site believe they have felt no police presence.
Event manager Phoebe Thacker said she’s glad the site has not been closed.
“I feel like Melbourne doesn’t have anything like it anywhere else,” she said.
“The water is deep enough. Just if you hesitate and slip, you could hurt yourself… but that’s like with jumping off a diving board, if you slip you’ll hurt yourself.”
However, high school teacher Mia-Marie Cooper said, “It is dangerous and I definitely didn’t feel safe getting up and especially down the pillar platform.”
Ms Cooper described the site as a hot-spot for both locals and tourists, with hundreds of people flocking down to the cliffs edge.
“From families to big groups of young people, lots of foreigners too. No supervision at all,” she said.
“If the council don’t want locals and tourists to go down there, there needs to be some kind of patrol and monitoring during peak season.”
Cr Colomb told The Herald Sun on 26 January that she didn’t know how long it will take to install a fence, as permission was needed from Aboriginal Affairs Victoria and State Government.
Aboriginal Victoria recently inspected the site alongside Mornington Peninsula Shire Councillors, Mornington Peninsula Shire staff and their Heritage Advisors.
A spokesperson from Aboriginal Victoria said, “A Cultural Heritage Management Plan is being prepared with ongoing discussion as to what are the most effective ways of protecting and managing the Aboriginal cultural heritage in the area.”
The Mornington Peninsula Shire declined request to comment on the update of the closure.
As summer was nearing an end, we visited the site to ask patrons about their thoughts on the popular spot’s anticipated closure. Watch below: