RECENT storm surges, rough weather, and a lack of action to protect it have seen vast portions of the Grantville foreshore simply washed away.
An issue that has plagued the Waterline communities of the Bass Coast Shire for some years, the lack of mangroves and an insufficient seawall has seen high tides sweep away huge quantities of sand and silt.
The tides have also risen perilously close to homes on the waterfront, with homeowners concerned about the next wild and windy night.
Committee member for Preserve Westernport and local resident Kevin Chambers said he fed up with the lack of effort from both the State Government and from the council.
Mr Chambers said that in the past, Bass MP Brian Paynter has assisted the committee with making applications for funding via the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning.
However, after a series of high tides, lashing rains and rough weather, Mr Chambers feels that time is running out for small talk, and is directing his frustrations at Mr Paynter.
“If he was an AFL footballer, his first and second efforts weren’t good enough,” Mr Chambers said.
“What needs to happen is a large scale mangrove planting session on the foreshore, to act as a buffer between the shoreline and the harsh elements.
“Back in the day, this foreshore would have been thick with plants. Now there’s nothing to stop the powerful waves surging right up the foreshore.”
Mr Paynter met with residents of Grantville in early 2015 to discuss the issues regarding erosion on the foreshore.
He then organised a meeting with the residents and members of the Grantville Foreshore Committee and Mick Dortmans from The Department of Environment Water Land and Planning (DEWLP).
In May 2016 the committee met with representatives from Bass Shire Council, Parks Vic and DEWLP, where it was agreed a draft management plan would be developed.
Brian Paytner’s office was informed yesterday (August 15) by DEWLP that the draft plan will be presented to the Grantville Foreshore Committee in the coming weeks before it goes out to the community.
It is hoped the report will outline immediate and well researched actions.
Numerous efforts to construct a seawall have been washed away and great portions of the foreshore are being consistently eaten away by high tides.
A vast section of a pathway north of Pier Road in Grantville has been completely washed away, leaving only a wooden bridge behind.
“And if you look at the sand being washed away at the rate it is, how long do you think that this bridge will remain here?” Mr Chambers said.
A council spokesperson said the council is responding to a number of recent coastal erosion events.
“Wintery conditions have included extremely high tides, combined with strong winds and large swells, resulting in storm surge events and erosion of beaches across the Bass Coast.
“As a manager of some coastal reserves, the council’s initial response has been to assess affected areas and conduct works in the interest of protecting public safety.
“In several instances, this has meant closing off beach access tracks and warning beach users through hazard signage.
“The second stage in the council’s response is to undertake the works required to reopen closed tracks or provide longer term-solutions.”