Sticking point: this bollard is a new addition to the beach foreshore. Photo: Luis Enrique Ascui
Lindsay Fox appears to be slowly expanding his beachside Portsea property, despite the Victorian government's promise to fight any future extensions on to prime public land by the trucking magnate.
New bollards have been erected in front of Mr Fox's beachfront property, approximately 20 metres closer to the bay.
A resident who has been in the Portsea area for more than 15 years said this was the first time they had seen new bollards being raised in years.
Lindsay Fox's Portsea beachfront property is in the spotlight again. Photo: Arsineh Houspian
The resident, who declined to be named, said they had been walking along cliffs at Portsea on Friday when they noticed workers outside Mr Fox's house.
They were "digging holes and erecting bollards about 20 to 30 metres further towards the bay from the ones currently in place'', the resident said, adding theoriginal bollards were only about 10 metres from Mr Fox's fence.
Mr Fox's expansion plans have been steeped in controversy since an additional 45 metres of prime beach land were added to his coastal Victorian property boundary by the titles office on Christmas Eve last year.
After the Napthine government became aware of the controversial decision – based on an old legal principle of the "doctrine of accretion", which allows landowners whose properties abut a coastline to apply to have their title extended as the high-water mark recedes – it reversed the decision to stop Victoria's coastline falling into private hands.
In the past 17 years, the Fox family has made three attempts to extend its title further on to Point King Beach, despite stiff community opposition.
Minister for Planning Matthew Guy told The Age on Sunday that Mr Fox had no authority to erect anything on the land without the consent of the secretary of the Department of Environment and Primary Industries.
"At the moment, that land stands in private ownership and a public zone – it is almost in limbo," Mr Guy said.
"It is a piece of public space … and there is no ability to put anything out there unless there is consent given."
He said the government would "take advice from the Department of Planning and the Department of Environment as soon as possible to see if there has been a breach of any planning or environmental laws".
A spokesman for Lindsay Fox declined to comment.