THE Bass Coast Shire Council is considering “hard engineering options” for the protection of Cape Paterson-Inverloch Road after huge swells, high tides and strong winds reduced their latest beach erosion strategy to flotsam and jetsam overnight last Friday night.
Interested locals looked on as relentless wave action destroyed the first of two Wet Sand Fence lines in front of both the Inverloch Surf Lifesaving Club and the thin dune that separates the beach from the road near the intersection with Surf Parade.
And then turned attention to the second line of resistance.
Social media picked up on the crisis and a range of issues was canvassed from climate change to the need for urgent action to protect homes
The Bass Coast Shire’s Manager Sustainable Environment, Deirdre Griepsma, is well aware of the problem which has been given the shire’s top priority for government advocacy.
“The two sections of fencing are positioned to protect the two public assets, Surf Lifesaving Club building and the Cape Paterson-Inverloch Road. These are the first to be trialed in Bass Coast Shire,” Ms Griepsma said.
“Council, Parks Victoria and DELWP became aware of the damage to part of the Wet Sand Fence at the Cape Paterson-Inverloch Road on late Friday. Members of the project team are undertaking on site assessments this morning (Monday).
“Council and the Inverloch Coastal Protection multi-agency working group are in discussions with the designers and contractor who installed the fence regarding the damage and rectification works.
“The project is funded by the State government (DELWP) and with planned sand re-nourishment and revegetation works it totals $160,000.
“Erosion is a shared responsibility by the Crown land manager and State government (Council, DELWP and Parks Victoria in this case).
“The weather conditions experienced on Friday and over the weekend saw extreme swells. The erosion continues to be monitored and hard engineering options remain a possibility where the current action is not mitigating the risk to the Cape Paterson-Inverloch Road,” she said.
“Foreshore erosion is a top priority for Council and clearly articulated in its Advocacy Strategy 2018-21 and Federal and State Priority Lists. We have two key documents which guide how we advocate: The Advocacy Strategy 2018-21 and the Advocacy Priority List: Federal January 2019 and State January 2019.”
Cowes East action needed
Seen as an even more pressing beach erosion issue is the Cowes East to Silverleaves area (Rose Avenue to Coghlan Road) where several houses are now at risk.
Local residents have formed the Cowes East Foreshore Preventative Action Group, taking their fight for urgent action to the council and also to the main candidates in the Federal seat of Monash, where they received a sympathetic hearing, but no commitments.
They’re campaigning for a rock wall to be constructed between Rose Avenue and Coghlan Road ASAP.
Social media went into meltdown over the problem of coastal erosion at the weekend predictability with divergent views:
* Ah the arrogance of mankind believing they can build a structure to withstand a force of nature.
* I told you so, brick wall the only way to go.
* Looks like the front fence has lost its palings that stop the sand washing back to the sea. Then over the back fence more of the dunes have been washed away.
* One swallow a summer does not make! Maybe give it time – these walls have worked elsewhere.
* They will need to do something quickly or the surf lifesaving club will be in real trouble. Maybe a rock wall similar to the one at the other end near the yacht club.
An injection of humour is always welcome:
* Pretty sure we can scrap the footpath plan and invest the money on creating an artificial reef that will produce world class waves.
* At the rate this is going I’ll have a water front property before you know it.