1st Jan. 2014 - Coastal Risk, Beach Accesses, Coastal Path
The OCC has a fundamental responsibility to the State government to manage 'risk' on the Crown land's it is responsible for; this includes risk to the public, infrastructure assets, and the environment.
Along the Apollo Bay foreshore a significant risk management issue over the 18-24 months has been erosion and its impacts on infrastructure, primarily the coastal path and beach accesses, and also the foreshore vegetation.
After the major erosion event in 2011, and subsequent events, the OCC partnered with DEPI, and Barwon Water, with input from COS & Vicroads, to develop an erosion management plan that would develop responses to these events. This process is ongoing and has identified temporary short term relatively inexpensive responses and also more resilient very expensive responses. To date we have not had any success in securing funding for the more expensive responses in what is a very competitive pool of decreasing funding.
The short term responses have been used with good success and involve sand fencing and sand nourishment or shifting sand from areas of high accretion to areas of erosion.
The long term responses involve building in resilience to the primary dune with some form of man-made structure. These responses are very expensive and do not necessarily ensure a long term fix.
Another important way of responding to the ongoing and potentially increasing problem, of erosion is to build adaptable structures. The new amenities buildings and sewage treatment plant at the Wye River Foreshore Camping Ground, built at a cost of $500,000+, are modular, prefabricated and easily relocated should they come under threat in the next 10-20 years.
Every year the OCC has the opportunity to apply for funding to manage risk through the State governments Coastal Risk Management Program (CRMP) and has had, over the years, considerable success in accessing funds to deal with risk issues.
Last year the OCC was successful in a funding application for $23k to develop modular beach accesses; a project that will have DEPI's keen interest. The project will involve developing modular, easily removable and relocatable beach access staircases that can adapt to the ever changing erosion and accretion cycles of our coastlines.
Over the last week or so the OCC has had the opportunity to rebuild the boardwalk beach accesses at the Apollo Bay SLSC, Apollo Bay Visitor Information Centre and at Skenes Creek.
The OCC has also developed a detailed list of works for the path out to Wild Dog Creek including options for re-building the sections of the path lost to erosion. These options will be further investigated with DEPI.
Outdoor staff will be allocating significant time to this work in the coming weeks and months.
Gary McPike: Executive Officer, 0419 301 311