MOYNE Shire Council has made an urgent plea for state government money so it can truck dredged sand from a Warrnambool beach to stabilise eroded dunes on Port Fairy’s East Beach.
It wants a commitment of $125,000 in the next few days before stockpiled sand from Lady Bay is dumped on the Warrnambool dunes.
Member for South West Coast Denis Napthine, who has already taken a keen interest in the Port Fairy plight, told The Standard yesterday he had written to Environment Minister Ryan Smith seeking assistance.
“The minister is looking into it,” Dr Napthine said yesterday.
“Moyne Shire was recently allocated $214,000 for three coastal risk projects through DSE’s Coastal Risk Mitigation Program.”
Wave surges in recent years exposed an old night soil dump buried under sand dunes on East Beach and community fears were raised about potential pollution risk.
The Department of Sustainability and Environment is probing the dunes to detect other buried risks.
Moyne Shire Council chief executive David Madden said yesterday a decision was needed urgently so works could start this week. “If not, this unique opportunity to do essential works to strengthen the dune will be lost,” Mr Madden told The Standard yesterday.
“This sand supply is a windfall that we had not been planned for and Moyne didn’t have the opportunity to apply for funding through the usual avenues.
“Moyne Shire is calling on the state government to act quickly so the opportunity does not go to waste.
“We can’t undertake this without funding from state government to cover the cost of transporting the sand from Warrnambool.”
Warrnambool City Council received $140,000 from the state government to dredge the bay near the boat launching ramp before summer and is using Moyne Shire’s dredge on contract.
City council chief executive Bruce Anson said sand pumping would finish in three weeks and would soon be blended into the Warrnambool dunes before summer.
“Once this is done it will be too damaging to remove it for use in strengthening the East Beach dune,” Mr Anson said yesterday.