Erosion takes toll on Inverloch Surf Beach

Bass Coast Shire Council is inspecting the Inverloch Surf Lifesaving Observation Tower and associated infrastructure as well as the beach access track daily after large tides and swells caused further erosion to the area.

Council’s Municipal Building Surveyor and a structural engineer assessed the structure and surrounds on Monday afternoon for public risk and safety, and will make a further assessment later in the week.

“At this point in time, the tower does not present a risk to the public; however we ask that the public do not enter the area around the tower and eroded dune area due to unstable sand cliffs,” Council’s Manager Sustainable Environment, Deirdre Griepsma, said.

“Council has had discussion with the Department of Environment, Water, Land and Planning (DELWP), and are in contact with the Surf Lifesaving Club to determine the future of the tower.”

The public access track to this area beside the Lifesaving Club building has been closed to the public until works can be undertaken to make this safe.

“We are expecting more severe weather in the next few days, including high tides and swells, which will continue to erode the area around the tower, coast line, and access track,” Ms Griepsma said.

“We have a dynamic coast line that is constantly changing. We live in Bass Coast because we love the environment; however, it also presents us with ongoing challenges and we can’t hold back the tide.

“When consent was given by DELWP and Council for the observation tower to be placed in its location in October 2014, this extent of erosion was not foreseen.”

The tower was designed to be removable, was craned in and bolted onto concrete pylons, meaning if required, the structure can be removed in the same manner.

The Club has removed and made safe the infrastructure services connected to the tower, being power and telecommunications.

“Council will continue to work with DEWLP and the Inverloch SLC to find a way forward, however we know the sand is not going to return to the area within the next four months,” Ms Griepsma said.

“The Inverloch Surf Beach is a public beach and Council values the service provided by the Club across the summer period. Council will work with the Club to make sure these services can be provided for the upcoming summer period.”

Council is seeking funding from DEWLP coastal risk grant program to undertake works on the access track and have the track reinstated for the summer period.

Council’s immediate priority is public safety, however, the track will remain closed until the works can be done to make it safe.