THE fight to defend Port Fairy’s coastline is about to step up with an extension of a sea wall along the East Beach.
Over the last week high tides and storms have battered the dunes at an old Port Fairy tip and night soil site and sent rubbish onto the beach.
The tip was shut down in the 1980s but the rapid erosion of the dunes since has exposed buried rubbish.
Two years ago Moyne Shire Council built a sea wall of rocks along the shoreline in front of the section of dune at most risk of erosion.
While it has been effective in protecting the dunes directly behind it, extremely high seas last winter and over the past week have caused the structure to be compromised.
The power of the sea has sunk some of the rocks and moved others, and the Moyne Shire Council hopes to begin works this week to reinforce and add to the sea wall.
The council is chipping in $60,000 for the works, while the state government has committed $80,000.
The works will include extending the rocks along the beach to protect the full area of the old rubbish tip.
It will also include the installation of sand-saving fences at each end of the sea wall to stop erosion caused by water channelled to the ends of the wall.
Moyne Shire Council director of sustainable development Oliver Moles said the sea wall extension would continue the coverage of the closet cell of the old tip site to the beach.
“The wedge sea wall was put in place as a trial structure and it has done well,”Mr Moles said
“If it was not there the erosion to the dunes in front of the old tip would be much greater.
“We are just waiting on the relevant approvals to come through and hopefully the work will begin this week or next week at the latest.
“The recent wild weather we have had has chewed into the wedge and has caused some of the rocks to sink into the sand and some have been displaced.”
As well as the extension of the seawall, the rocks that are now in place will be reshaped to ensure they are in the best configuration to withstood the big seas that will continue over the winter months.