I am grateful that we have a community where a range of opinions can be presented.
Readers may be unaware that the South Gippsland Conservation Society has been in existence since 1976.
The society runs the Bunurong Environment Centre in Inverloch in collaboration with the Shell Museum.
We have a large education program delivered to schools, groups and the public including sessions on the local dinosaur discoveries.
The society also undertakes revegetation projects throughout the Bass Coast, such as at Screw Creek.
Our Inverloch Coastal Resilience Project (ICRP) has included in-depth research into the processes impacting the Inverloch coastline and the environmental, social and economic values that are under threat from the 60 metres of coastline recession that has occurred since 2013.
This project has featured an extensive community consultation program, including a three-month public exhibition and survey in Inverloch and Wonthaggi.
Hardly a ‘single purpose environmental group’ as Max Wells suggests in your paper.
We do advocate on issues where the environmental outcomes will be detrimental – this is not a personal benefit to us – we are doing our best to protect a natural environment under threat.
We now know that a major part of the threat comes from us – humans. In our view, it is incumbent on us to be aware of the impact of all our decisions.
In the specific case of the proposed extension to the Surf Parade shared pathway, it is important to note that the circumstances have changed since the council consultation was held, with rapid erosion and vegetation loss at Inverloch Surf Beach, as documented in our recent ICRP Beach Monitoring report (sgcs.org.au).
The remaining vegetated dunes are all that stands between the sea and the houses along Surf Parade.
Our question to council was aimed at getting council to consider utilising 2020-21 funding for urgently needed short-term dune renourishment, given the delays in council securing necessary approvals for the path extension.
We also argue that a review of the decision is warranted, or at least a deferral, until the results of the state government’s Local Coastal Hazard Assessment are known.
Annette Read on behalf of the South Gippsland Conservation Society.