THE rate of erosion at a popular Inverloch beach is progressing so fast that it could threaten a nearby road by the end of the year; but authorities believe they have a solution.
Since 2012, dunes have retreated 36m at an Inverloch beach, near where Surf Parade meets Cape Paterson-Inverloch Road/Toorak Road.
It’s estimated there’s 6m left before it hits Cape Paterson-Inverloch Road.
And then, the road could collapse.
“If there’s a strong storm event next winter, that 6m could quickly dissipate,” said Wonthaggi’s Aileen Vening at the site of the erosion.
Aileen’s most recent campaign has been around encouraging the council to speak more openly about climate change.
“People need to call it out as climate change. A recent council document on a plan for fencing around this area didn’t once mention the words climate change.
“You have to name it. We need to do whatever it takes to get to zero emissions.”
Aileen was referring to the council’s ‘Inverloch Coastal Protection Plan’.
It sets out a plan to trial constructing two rows of wet-sand fencing, which will hopefully prevent sand from being dragged out with the waves.
A similar trial at Port Fairy worked wonders. But it’s hoped the shire’s not too late in fixing the Inverloch beach.
Leigh Ewbank of the Friends of the Earth group also inspected the erosion damage last week.
He said the group is making sure governments are on top of climate change.
This year, the State Government will decide emissions targets for 2025 and 2030 – with a long-term goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Meanwhile, the Friends of the Earth group are planning on enlisting ‘climate detectives’ to help monitor ongoing erosion in communities threatened by eroding foreshores, such as Inverloch.
“Many coastal communities are facing these issues,” he said.
“Within five years, parts of the Great Ocean Road could be gone.”
Jessica Harrison is encouraging community members to come together and encourage one another to be active in the climate change scene.
“People power really works. We need to keep politicians informed and keep on the backs of our elected representatives.
“We need to think about the future for the next generation.”