My thanks to the many who attended the inaugural Community Plus forum: Conversation Coastline.
Having around 100 people packed into the Inverloch Hub’s meeting room on a cold Friday night was a remarkable testament to the interest, passion, concern and seriousness with which people view the issues affecting the environment and our community.
My appreciation extends to Associate Professor David Kennedy for donating his time and presenting the very informative topic of beaches, sand movement and erosion which, although it didn’t give us specific answers for Inverloch, helped us better understand the coastal changes that we all observe.
The proposed Surf Parade path extension is a major infrastructure project strategically supported, community supported in principle, and Council and State Government supported. It is a $1.5 million investment with a staged project delivery over three to four years.
Everyone wants a path – and this is a great starting point. The council process and commitment to carefully constructing the path will ensure that it is an intergenerational asset while enhancing and building the resilience of this coastline.
The Friday night conversation also brought to light the complexity of overlapping and intersecting issues, maximizing the benefits and minimising the risks and costs for ongoing management.
The design, alignment, traffic direction, timing, surface material, funding, and car-parking, coupled with vegetation removal, active erosion, flooding in hotspot areas, and Ayr and Wreck Creeks all need to be resolved.
Concerns about the current traffic calming treatments and their affects have highlighted the importance of community input to design processes. The suggestion of forming a working group to community design the path and management plan for this area is certainly one worth pursuing.
Other feedback included the wider traffic implications, alternative routes, speed limits, and council and VicRoads responsibilities. Consideration could also be given to reintroducing a summer shuttle service (Venus Bay model) to alleviate some of the peak period congestion.
Working together for a better, more holistic outcome enhancing the recreational experience of this path as part of the Bunurong Marine and Coastal Park is very important.
The council hosted a workshop with individuals, community groups, and other stakeholders on Friday, June 19 to assist with drafting the technical brief for the Geomorphic and Ecological assessments to be now undertaken.
We will all have the needed information when the studies have been done and this will inform the final design.
I am working towards this being resolved and ready to go prior to the next budget deliberations in February.
Cr Jordan Crugnale, Deputy Mayor, Bass Coast Shire Council.