SAND dredged from beneath Port Fairy bay could be used to save East Beach from erosion as part of a $2 million rescue bid being explored by Moyne Shire.
A proposal to pump 100,000 cubic metres of sand from the bay on to the beach to protect both the rock wall and ensure the survival of the tourist drawcard has emerged as the best option from a detailed report by ocean experts.
Council has previously investigated using trucks to bring sand from Warrnambool’s Lady Bay to prop up Port Fairy’s vanishing shoreline but is wary over the high transport costs.
Moyne Shire environmental officer Robert Gibson said dredging was being investigated but was optimistic.
“Getting sand back on to East Beach is a key component of managing all the issues. It underpins a lot of problems,” Mr Gibson said.
“The closest source of sand is in the bay.”
The survival of the beach is crucial in attracting thousands of tourists to the township each year over the peak summer period.
Another $4 million is still needed in rock wall repairs to protect beachfront homes.
The report by Coastal Engineering Solutions also earmarked the Hopkins River, the Glenelg River and Lady Bay as potential sources of sand to replenish the coastline.
If the Port Fairy bay was to be dredged, it would require an extra 10,000 cubic metres of replacement sand annually — something that could easily be provided by the present dredging of the Moyne River.
While stressing that “money is a big issue” Mr Gibson said council would likely need to use sand that suited the appearance of beach.
“People don’t want to walk out on to a nice white beach to see big patches of orange,” he said.
Council will speak with Deakin University and dredging experts over the coming weeks before putting the proposal to the government.