By Kirra Grimes
BASS Coast Shire councillors are calling on the state government to treat coastal erosion issues at Inverloch with greater urgency and speed up investigation of long-term solutions.
At their May 20 ordinary council meeting, Bunurong Ward Cr Julian Brown received unanimous support for a motion urging the acceleration of the state government’s Local Coastal Hazard Assessment, announced as part of a pilot Regional and Strategic Partnership (RaSP) in October last year.
The assessment will play a key part in long-term strategic coastal resilience planning for Inverloch and surrounds.
It was to be completed over a two-year period, however, councillors agreed the community couldn’t afford to wait that long and were now asking for it to be finalised within three months.
“With certain issues, sometimes there’s a time for doing studies and doing consultation, and other times, decisive action is needed, and I think this is one of those occasions,” Cr Brown said. “The situation is quickly developing at the Inverloch Surf Beach and my concern is that the study is simply going to take too long.”
Several other councillors voiced support for the motion, adding that it was not only Inverloch’s famously imperiled Surf Life Saving Club and Bunurong Road in need of state government resources but the shire’s entire coastline, with Jam Jerrup, Kilcunda and parts of Phillip Island including Silverleaves and Cowes East facing similar threats.
The state government has, since October 2019, allocated $1.65 million towards the erosion response at Inverloch: $450,000 for a geotextile container wall adjacent to the Surf Life Saving Club; $700,000 for the pilot RaSP and Local Coastal Hazard Assessment; and, most recently, $500,000 for a 120-metre long rock wall near the intersection of Bunurong Road and Surf Parade.
State Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale said these investments were evidence the state government “takes coastal erosion seriously”.
“We’ve established a new Inverloch RaSP to tackle this incredibly important environmental issue – this work will include extensive conversations with the community and developing long-term solutions to adapt to a changing climate,” Ms Crugnale said.