By Michael Giles
THERE was plenty of back-slapping going on last week after the State Government committed $1.15 million in order that “emergency erosion stabilising controls” could be introduced on the erosion ravaged Inverloch Surf Beach.
“Job done,” said some.
Others even claimed the credit when Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio came to the party.
But time and tide, as they say, waits for no man or woman for that matter, and the ocean continued to pound those especially vulnerable points in front of the surf club and at a key corner on Cape Paterson-Inverloch Road.
Because the reality is that just $450,000 of that handsome sum is going towards “emergency erosion stabilising controls” and the rest towards yet another planning process costing $700,000.
And the funds committed to installing a Geotextile Sandbag Wall will only provide enough bags to cover the front of the surf club’s sand dune, not the road which is arguably more important.
Regional Roads Victoria, the organisation responsible for protecting the road is sitting on its hands.
Work continued on bolstering the wet sand fence on the beach in front of the precariously thin strip of dune that separates the road from the waves.
But the big swells on Saturday, in particular, proved the relentless wave action still poses a huge threat.
And then there’s the hundreds of houses on the surf side of Inverloch presently under threat.
There’s an emergency alright but it’s not a “climate change emergency”, it’s an immediate threat to property and important assets like the Bunurong road and the sewerage pumping station.
The community deserves some guarantees on how long it will take to “form a pilot RaSP”, how long it will take for the “Local Coastal Hazard Assessment and Community Resilience Planning” to be concluded and when, exactly, they can expect to see action.
The establishment of a rock wall from Flat Rocks to Point Norman, the full length of the surf beach is one that appears to have considerable merit and at an estimated cost under $4 million, it deserves some investigation.
Better still, forget the RaSP (sounds like something out of Utopia), and put the entire $700,000 towards starting work on Inverloch’s rockwall.