Tide watcher Kevin Chambers highlights further severe erosion in Grantville, along a walking track close to Pier Road. The track has been closed to the public for a month. G103714
HIGH tides coinciding with storm surges have had a significant and noticeable impact on foreshores in the Waterline area.
One local resident, Kevin Chambers from The Gurdies, dutifully documented the high tides and evidence of increased erosion during particularly strong storms in July and August.
And while he’s worried about the impact rising tides are having all along Western Port’s eastern edge, he fears such damage could become “catastrophically worse” if dredging for the proposed Port of Hastings (POH) was ever to occur.
A keen fisherman and passionate POH opponent, Mr Chambers says that any amount of dredging could have a dangerous impact on tidal flows, and he has called on State and Federal politicians to witness some of the recent destruction themselves.
“(Federal Environment Minister) Greg Hunt and (State Minister for Ports) David Hodgett need to come to the eastern side of Western Port and see in person the existing storm surge damage to our coastline, long before any dredging takes place,” Mr Chambers urged.
“Let them then try to explain, especially to the residents in low lying parts of Western Port, how massive dredging to accommodate the container port will not affect their homes.
“The Port of Hastings current tidal testing program does nothing to allay the fears of residents in places such as Grantville – and they will suffer greatly if the project proceeds.”
Taking the Sentinel-Times for a brief tour, Mr Chambers pointed out areas near Queensferry Jetty Road, Pier Road and Malcolm Drive in Grantville as spots that have been hit particularly hard in recent months, with tides breaching sea walls by several metres.
A clear indication of recent damage is just a short stroll from the end of Pier Road, where Bass Coast Shire Council has closed a walking track.
Council’s acting planning and environment director, Jodi Kennedy, confirmed damage to the track had been caused by several erosion events.
“The condition of the track has progressively reached a state that the track was temporarily closed and the sign was erected on August 12,” Ms Kennedy said.
“Council is now planning works to repair the damage and provide safe pedestrian access.
“Upon completion of these works, the track will be reopened.”
Ms Kennedy added council had not been made aware of other erosion damage in the Waterline area.
Greg Hunt has hit back at any assertion he is unfamiliar with Waterline foreshores, taking the opportunity to highlight the benefits of his government’s Green Army Project.
“I have visited the waterline foreshore areas of Lang Lang, Grantville, Pioneer Bay, Corinella and Coronet Bay on several occasions and have helped to plant mangroves and carry out revegetation work in the past but I am always happy to visit again,” he said.
“The damage caused by the recent storms highlights the need for immediate action on sediment control and foreshore rejuvenation.
“We need practical work done now, which is precisely why the Phillip Island and Bass Coast Green Army Project team will work to tackle coastal erosion through mangrove planting and foreshore revegetation at Grantville, Corinella and Coronet Bay.
“This project will enhance the landscape and environmental values of Phillip Island and the Bass Coast, providing greater amenity for local residents while boosting wildlife habitats.
“As I have said previously, there is currently no proposal for the Port of Hastings development but if one were put forward, it would have to be assessed by what is likely to be one of Australia’s most comprehensive Environmental Impact Statements under federal law.”