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Erosion threat at Inverloch

UNDER THREAT: Crews were in overdrive last week, with fears the Inverloch Surf Lifesaving Club could soon be claimed by surging tides.

Pathway “subject to approval”

Matt Dunn

 

BASS Coast Shire Council would not say if a dramatic escalation in beach erosion at Inverloch could threaten a planned pathway along the foreshore.

The $1.5 million Surf Parade Shared Path project, which will include 138 car parks, was endorsed by council at its August meeting.

This week crews scrambled to protect the Inverloch Surf Lifesaving Club with sandbags, in a bid to halt its apparent march ever closer to the water’s edge.

Meanwhile, erosion has claimed more sand toward what has become known as the ‘Bunurong Road site’. The original rear section of the wet-sand fence, installed in April, is now severely damaged. 

Asked whether the worsening situation would put a handbrake on the plan, a council spokesperson said the path would go ahead

“subject to successfully obtaining all relevant permits and approvals”.

Environmentalists in the town are concerned that the path’s construction, which will necessitate vegetation clearing along the town’s fragile dunes, could worsen erosion even more.   

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s Carole Macmillan told The Star urgent work last week was designed to  

“provide a temporary buffer to further erosion”.

“All agencies are working together, and Bass Coast Shire Council is transporting sacrificial sand and sand bags to the two sites,” she said.  

“Further discussions are underway to consider works additional to wet-sand fencing and sand renourishment.

“This includes seeking information from experts on sand filled geotextile containers that will form a stabilising defence and the installation of sheet piling at the Bunurong Road site.

“Although, these options are yet to be confirmed.”

Bass Coast Shire mayor Cr Brett Terrasi the erosion problems at Inverloch were “being exacerbated by continuous storm events”.

He said the problem was “a significant issue for our shire”. 

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and work with the Inverloch Coastal Protection Working Group partners to develop solutions to tackle the immediate problems while working on the medium to longer term solutions,” he said.  

The Inverloch Coastal Protection Working Group consists of representatives from DELWP, Bass Coast Shire Council, Parks Victoria, Regional Roads Victoria and the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority.

Inverloch surf beach has lost an average of six metres of sand per year, making it one of the most rapidly changing coastlines in the state.

 

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=30057

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