URGENT action is needed to restore a footpath on Phillip Island before it’s destroyed by erosion, says a local action group.
The Cowes East Foreshore Action Group is seeking $3m to expand a rock wall, fix the groynes, and restore sand at a beach adjoining Stradbroke Avenue, near the Phillip Island Golf Club.
And they’re hoping to secure a commitment before the upcoming Federal election.
The group’s Ken Hailey said the footpath has been obliterated by erosion.
“During high tide, properties are under threat and you can’t walk along the beach,” he said.
“It was a road, so it is a public asset. But we’re pushing our luck.
“Last year we had the strongest northerly winds I’ve ever seen in the 40 years I’ve been here.”
Cr Stephen Fullarton said the beach only needs a couple of decent storms before it’d be too late to fix.
Mr Hailey said the Bass Coast Shire Council’s been very supportive of reinstating the path along the beach.
“The council’s been fantastic in their advocacy strategy,” he said of the council’s campaign for funds.
Last year, the Liberal Party promised to fund the project – if elected.
The Labor candidate for Monash – which includes all of the Bass Coast and South Gippsland shires – says she has put the funding request to her party.
“This is an absolute priority,” Labor candidate Jessica O’Donnell said at the foreshore last week.
“I know [Bass MP] Jordan Crugnale tried to get this over the line.”
Ms O’Donnell said climate change would be a prominent issue in the Federal Election – expected to be held in the coming months.
“These beaches are eroding quicker and quicker. We keep saying that we’ve never seen anything like this, whether it’s the bushfires or these beaches.”
Mr Hailey said it would be fantastic if the funding was an election commitment, adding that Inverloch also needs a helping hand to help fight erosion.