Regional Roads Victoria contractors placed rocks on the beach yesterday to protect Cape Paterson-Inverloch Road.

LOCALS have been calling for it for months but it took a heavy pounding by king tides and high seas on Easter Saturday to get authorities to bring in the big guns.

This week, Regional Roads Victoria started laying down a wall of rocks near the corner of Cape Paterson-Inverloch Road and Surf Parade, hopeful it will offer protection to the road.

According to Regional Roads Victoria Regional Director (Eastern), Sara Rhodes-Ward, RRV crews responded immediately to the problem.

“Our crews were out over the long weekend undertaking critical stabilisation works to help manage coastal erosion along Bunurong Road,” Ms Rhodes-Ward said.

“We’re installing a wall made of around 500 tonnes of rock that will create a barrier along the coastline near the road.”

Background

Regional Roads Victoria (RRV) undertook critical stabilisation works over the long weekend along Bunurong Road (Cape Paterson-Inverloch Road) to manage the impacts of wave and tidal erosion.

Bunurong Road was closed to all traffic on Monday, April 13 while crews undertook these critical works.

They expected both lanes on Bunurong Road to reopen later on Tuesday.

Vice President of the South Gippsland Conservation Society, Dave Sutton, said the jury was out about rock walls being good for the beach.

“Rock walls are not the answer. It’s a question of whether you want a beach or not. If you put rock there, you ultimately won’t have a beach,” he said.

The issue has generated a lot of interest in the community and on social media.

A multi-agency working group has been formed to investigate solutions to coastal erosion issues in the Inverloch area. This group includes the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Regional Roads Victoria, Bass Coast Shire Council (BCSC), Parks Victoria (PV) and the West Gippsland Management Catchment Authority (WGCMA).

Council

Bass Coast Shire Council said the Victorian Government recently invested $450,000 to install a 70-metre-long wall of 270 geotextile containers near the Inverloch Surf Life Saving Club to protect this area from coastal erosion.

Other measures including the installation of ‘wet sand’ fencing and dune reconstruction have also been undertaken in the area in an attempt to curb coastal erosion.

“Erosion mitigation has been a key advocacy priority for Council for some time. This includes the successful allocation of $450,000 from the State Government towards the geotextile sandbag project at the Inverloch Surf Lifesaving Club, and a further $700,000 towards a Coastal Hazard Risk Assessment Study.

“Council eagerly awaits the release of $1.5 million from the Federal Government toward erosion mitigation.

“Regional Roads Victoria is responsible for protecting their asset the Cape Paterson-Inverloch Road, and are leading this project, including the recent placement of rocks.

“At the Surf Lifesaving Club, DEWLP and Maw Civil Marine who are the contractors employed by the State to place the geo textile sandbags, placed sacrificial sand in front of the sandbags over the weekend to help minimise damage.

“Council will continue to provide support to the State Government including DEWLP and RRV in their erosion response, and to advocate to both State and Federal levels for increased funding towards erosion mitigation,” said a spokesperson for the shire.

See video: https://youtu.be/mJDafV-wCJ8

There was a lot of community interest in the weekend’s beach erosion at Inverloch.

Waves washed across the Cape Paterson-Inverloch Road at the height of the storm on Easter Saturday.