Enough talk, time to act on Inverloch coastal erosion

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath has called for mitigation action on Inverloch’s foreshore before local infrastructure is irreparably damaged by coastal erosion.

“Speaking with frustrated Inverloch community members, there’s been years of talk and no action – short and long-term measures are needed to protect the town,” said Ms Bath.

“It’s untenable that after three and half years of consultation and studies, the Andrews Government is no closer to implementing remediation action on Inverloch’s foreshore.

“Infrastructure around Wreck Creek is only one storm event away from being lost.

“Inverloch’s Surf Life Saving Club, local roads and homes are at immediate risk, yet the Andrews Government continues to kick the tin down the road.

“The Surf Life Saving Club is only 10 metres away from the high tide mark, and in the last eight years 70 metres of beach has been eroded and two surf lifesaving towers have been lost.”

Speaking in state parliament Ms Bath called on the Andrews Government to act now so the Inverloch Surf Life Saving Club and other public infrastructure do not succumb to coastal erosion.

Ms Bath said after three and half years it beggars belief the Cape-to-Cape Resilience Project is still without a tangible action when Inverloch’s coastal erosion is considered the worst in the state.

“This project began with widespread community support, but many locals are losing faith and others have resigned from the advisory group in sheer frustration.

“In one recent state government driven public consultation session, locals were asked to write on a sticky note why they liked to use the beach – this is bureaucracy, not progress.

“Inverloch relies heavily on tourism; the integrity of the coastline is intrinsically linked to the areas’ future prosperity.

“The Inverloch community wants leadership from the Andrews Government and a sense of urgency.

“The Minister has stated $3 million in funding is on the table, however this amount is insufficient and there’s no evidence the money is being used for mitigation purposes. 

“Shifting sands along coastlines is not a new phenomenon, the Andrews Government must be examining proactive best practice overseas and applying it here.

“The installation of groynes, breakwaters and/or artificial reefs would slow down coastal erosion short term and help protect the Inverloch foreshore from storm events while a long term strategy is implemented.

“Many in the Inverloch community do not want another year to pass by without tangible remedial coastal action – doing nothing is not an option.”