THE Bass Coast Shire Council will not complete a study on whether an extension of the Surf Parade pathway in Inverloch will exacerbate nearby erosion, despite some councillors’ concerns.
Cr Michael Whelan raised the issue at a shire meeting last Wednesday, requesting an amendment to the 2019-2020 Budget to have the $1.5million for the path subject to a coastal hazard assessment to ensure the path wouldn’t put the coastline under further threat.
Cr Whelan believed it wouldn’t cause the project to be delayed.
“There is an urgency for immediate discussion and as councillors we need to put our skin in the game and we need to know how we are going to respond to this ruin,” Cr Whelan said.
Cr Geoff Ellis and Cr Pamela Rothfield were in support of the amendment.
“We have a responsibility to our future and should consider the environmental impact on everything,” said Cr Ellis.
However, although Deputy Mayor Cr Bruce Kent agreed that coastal erosion is of high importance and doesn’t disregard the issue, he and Cr Les Larke were among those to oppose it.
“I don’t believe erosion is linked to this path,” said Cr Kent.
Cr Larke added: “I don’t oppose there is a crucial issue with erosion but this is unlikely to make an impact.”
Ken Hailey of the Cowes East Foreshore Preventative Action Group attended the meeting for his public question on erosion.
He said: “This is a terrific path, but it is just the wrong time to extend, 10 years ago reports didn’t see the issues but today our coast is so rapidly under threat.”
Cr Whelan says he will continue lobbying the issue of coastal erosion.
“This is a serious critical issue that needs to be addressed,” he concluded.