A popular tourist beach in Victoria is slowly disappearing with the local mayor now saying it was “a storm” not to get lost.
A popular tourist beach in Victoria is “a storm away” from disappearing with the local council asking for funding to save it
Bass Coast Mayor Michael Whelan said 70 meters of sand had already been lost from Wreck Creek, a small lagoon at the western end of Inverloch Beach.
“We’ve lost 70 meters of shoreline in 10 years and another storm and we think we’re going to lose Wreck Creek,” he said.
Inverloch, located just 143km from Melbourne, is a popular tourist destination and before the pandemic 40% of its visitors came from overseas.
However, it often suffers from severe winter storms causing severe erosion, and Mayor Whelan wants to make sure funds are available to protect it, as well as other beaches along the Bass Coast.
“Before you were able to sit in the surf rescue club and see the sand dunes and vegetation, now you are watching the crashing waves,” Mayor Whelan said.
Council wants $ 12.36 million for climate change mitigation on the Bass Coast, of which about $ 11.86 million to be allocated to erosion control.
Mayor Whelan hopes state or federal governments will step forward as municipalities cannot afford the huge investments needed to support the coast.
He said the council had already spent about $ 2.5 million constructing a cowes East facing wall on Phillip Island, with help from the federal government, which also contributed $ 1 million.
“The councils just don’t have the funding base to do these big jobs, we really need the federal and state governments to step up,” he said.
Mayor Whelan said places like Wreck Creek were in need of sand nourishment and the council was also building a temporary wall of fabric rock sacks along a 70-meter stretch of Inverloch’s coastline, which is expected to last about 10 years.
He said funding was now needed to help finance these types of projects, but therefore the municipality had the money to start the work once the evaluation results of the Cape to Cape Resilience project are completed this year, which he hopes will provide. long-term solutions for the area.
“We have 40km of coastline here and (coastal erosion) is a significant problem,” he said.
“There comes a point where we go, okay, are we ready to lose things or act hard?”
Mayor Whelan said erosion could eventually threaten roads and homes in the area, and the loss of the area’s beaches could also impact its tourism sector.
“Inverloch is a very important beach for the Bass Coast community,” he said.
The Bass Coast is just one of several coastal councils around Australia grappling with how to pay for million dollar projects to protect their coastal assets.
In New South Wales, Sydney homeowners have had to negotiate and agree plans for million-dollar dams to protect their waterfront properties in places like Collaroy on North Beaches.
Several homeowners had to be evacuated from their million-dollar homes in 2016 after being hit by massive storm surges during a storm, which also saw a swimming pool collapse on the beach.
But progress in building a sea dam to protect homes has been slow separate groups of residents along the beach they had to agree to contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to finance small sections of the wall.
The problems facing these homeowners are likely to become more common as climate change leads to sea level rise, more frequent and damaging storms and worsening erosion.
Originally published as The Australian beach that is “a storm” from the disappearance