By Kirra Grimes

PREPARATIONS are being made for a comprehensive study into long-term solutions for Inverloch’s eroding coastline, but the results are still more than a year away.

Bass MP Jordan Crugnale told the Sentinel-Times last week that preliminary analysis and modelling to inform a Local Coastal Hazard Assessment and future investment for Inverloch Surf Beach and surrounds was underway, but the community would have to wait until late next year to see the final report.

The Inverloch Erosion Regional and Strategic Partnership (RaSP), led by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, is expected to go out to tender for a consultant to lead a Local Coastal Hazard Assessment (LCHA) in July this year, with a consultant to be appointed by September 2020, Ms Crugnale said.

“Data collection, analysis and modelling will take until May 2021, then [the] review and final report is expected to be completed around August 2021,” she said.

State government funding of $700,000 was announced for the LCHA and associated pilot RaSP in October last year, but the first meeting of the RaSP working group didn’t take place until late last month.

According to Ms Crugnale, the group is currently working on FAQs for the community in advance of an engagement plan for the RaSP, and these will be released soon.

‘A long time to wait’

Bass Coast Shire Council recently wrote to the state government urging that they finalise the RaSP and the LCHA within three months.

Mayor Cr Brett Tessari said the August 2021 forecast completion date gave him “massive concerns”.

“I understand the report has got to be thorough – it is going to take lot of work – but that’s a long time to wait before we get to look at it, and then we have to act on it,” Cr Tessari said.

“That’s two winters we’ve got to get through before we get a gameplan for moving forward, and then we’ve still got to get the funding for those projects that come out of it,” he said.

“My concern is whether the coastline will hold up for that long.”

Council would continue to advocate for the LCHA to be completed as quickly as possible, Cr Tessari said, but if the current timeline couldn’t be changed, would continue to work with the state government to monitor infrastructure assets at Inverloch and “keep the community happy”.