Seeking long-term solution to erosion

ROBE District Council will seek a long-term solution to erosion on town beach after it was battered by recent stormy weather.

Robe District Council will seek a long-term solution to erosion on town beach after it was battered by recent stormy weather.

Reporting on the matter to the council’s August meeting, CEO Roger Sweetman said recent high tides and strong winds had stripped sand from the beach.

“The sand that was removed is the sand that was placed there as part of the sand replenishment work undertaken this year.

“While it would appear that the work undertaken was wasted, in effect the sand replenishment did what it was intended to which was to protect the sand dunes from further erosion and it would have been interesting to observe what may have occurred if the sand replenishment project had not been undertaken.

“Town beach will always receive an amount of sand as a result of the dredging of the marina channel, however based on historical data this won’t be enough to continue to protect the beach and eventually the private property that adjoins town beach.”

Mr Sweetman said he had sought advice from the Coast Protection Board about the long-term future of town beach.

The board advised that it would not fund protection of private development or property owned by a State Government agency and Mr Sweetman suggested an equitable solution could be for all affected parties including private property owners to contribute.

He said a long-term solution to the problem of sand replenishment and property protection could be to excavate the dune at the property boundary, construct a stone wall and return and further replenish the sand.

The board would be happy to offer financial support for the necessary design work.

If any work was done, Mr Sweetman said it would also be opportune to extend the rock groyne at the landward end of the groyne, which would further protect sand on the beach.

Upgrading beach access also needed to be looked at to provide:

– Disabled access in accordance with Australian standards.

– Vehicle access to the beach in an emergency event.

– Access usable in times of low level sand on the beach.

– Access to the beach for equipment when doing sand replenishment or repairs to the groyne.

Councillors voted in favour of Mr Sweetman’s recommendations: to apply for funding from the Coast Protection Board for design work to protect the dunes and to repair the groyne, and ask the council’s works operations coordinator to prepare concept plans for upgraded beach access.

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