Labor burying head in sand over Cape to Cape

The Nationals have raised concerns about Labor’s unwillingness to act on coastal erosion and flooding issues stretching from the Inverloch foreshore to the Bass Coast.

The Regional and Strategic Partnership (RaSP) was announced and was given $700,000 in funding in October 2019.

The Cape to Cape Resilience was then established in 2020 to specifically address coastal erosion, flooding and tide inundation, but since this time Labor has tied the project up in red tape and failed to properly it.

Ms Bath said Cape to Cape Resilience Project is much anticipated and well overdue, locals are tired of Labor’s inaction on coastal erosion in South Gippsland and Bass Coast.

“This important project has undergone significant community consultation, and experts have identified many hazards and at-risk areas along the coastline.

“After raising inaction on the Cape to Cape project and asking for the project to be properly funded in state parliament it is incredibly disappointing to have now received a response from the Treasurer that falls far short of expectations.

“The Andrews Labor Government has only allocated the Cape to Cape Resilience Project $400,000, a mere 2 per cent of the state funding to build a safer, healthier and more resilient marine and coastal environment.

“Cape to Cape has been promising solutions for three years and the Inverloch coastline is at critical risk with community and private assets are being threatened.

“Just recently we saw the Bass Coast Council come out and say it was planning to head to Canberra to pitch the project from the federal government.

“There’s a real need for urgency around the Cape to Cape project so the coastline around Inverloch, Venus Bay and Anderson Inlet are not compromised further.”

The Nationals Candidate for Bass, Brett Tessari said the coastline from South Gippsland to the Bass Coast must be stabilised and the resilience issues addressed sooner rather than later.

“Our community relies heavily on tourism as a vital source of income, the integrity of our magnificent coastline is intrinsically linked to our future prosperity,” said Mr Tessari.

“It is common knowledge that the coastline has receded 70 metres and 2.8 hectares of vegetation has been lost between Cape Patterson and Inverloch Surf Life Saving Club since 2010.

“In the last two years alone breach monitoring has confirmed the coastline has receded eight metres – our community is tired of the Andrews Government dragging its feet.

“Here we have a serious coastal erosion problem that is by the Andrews Government’s own admission ‘the worst in the state’ but for locals to learn Labor has only allocated it 2 per cent of the available coastal funding – it’s insulting.

“Instead of paying our coastal South Gippsland and Bass Coast communities lip service, the Andrews Government must act on both interim measures and long-term solutions.

“Locals have had enough of Labor’s bureaucratic delays, they want immediate action to save our beautiful coastal environment before it’s too late,” Mr Tessari said.