Working together on Inverloch erosion
As wave erosion continues to occur at the beaches of Inverloch, Bass Coast Shire Council is working with key stakeholders to develop several initiatives to address erosion in both the short and longer-term.
Council’s shorter-term priorities focus on protecting public safety and maintaining public infrastructure. This has recently included relocating the Inverloch surf lifesaving tower twice and undertaking works to maintain several beach access tracks.
Bass Coast Shire Council Manager Sustainable Environment, Deirdre Griepsma explained that damage to beach access tracks from recent storm surge events has led to their closure in the interest of public safety.
“We understand closing access tracks is not ideal, we all love to walk along our beautiful beaches, and so we are working hard to bring these tracks to a safe standard so that they can be re-opened,” Mrs Griepsma said.
Council is planning to undertake works early in 2019 using sand renourishment in the area around the lifesaving club. These works have received funding from the Victorian Government’s Protection of Victoria’s Iconic Beaches and Coastline Project.
“Erosion is affecting areas that are managed by a range of different organisations, and is an issue which will involve a collaborative approach to be solved,” Mrs Griepsma said.
“Council is consistently in discussions with the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP), Parks Victoria and VicRoads on how we can best maintain our beaches and protect community assets and infrastructure.”
An immediate priority for multi-agency discussions is stability in the area of foreshore near Bunurong Road, not far from the intersection with Surf Parade.
DELWP Program Manager for Planning Approvals, Carmel Henderson, said the department has engaged an independent coastal engineer and VicRoads’ engineers on short term options for storm damaged sections of the coast.
“We’re working with our expert engineers to develop plans that will protect the integrity of the coast and the nearby road as a priority in the short term,” Ms Henderson said.
“We are also all working together on medium and long term solutions to the wider issue of coastal erosion and its impacts on community assets around Inverloch.”
Another key element is ongoing monitoring. Deakin University, in conjunction with the University of Melbourne and DELWP, is running the Victorian Coastal Monitoring Program which uses drones to capture imagery to monitor shoreline change.
Mitigating and managing coastal erosion is a top priority for Bass Coast Shire Council and features on their advocacy priority list. Council are currently advocating to government for funding to build the necessary infrastructure for long term solutions.