CONFRONTING pictures of rubbish from an old tip site on Port Fairy’s East Beach published by this newspaper on the weekend will hopefully serve to focus both state and federal governments’ attention on what is undoubtedly the community’s most challenging issue.
Many still believe that it is up to the Moyne Shire Council to “do something about it’’, and although the shire bears some of the responsibility for saving this prized natural asset it can’t go it alone.
Natural erosion is having a dramatic effect on the East Beach, so much so that a recent scientific report suggested that parts of the dune could be breached by the ocean in decades to come. What does this mean? Putting it simply, if nothing is done then the sea will join up with Belfast Loch, creating a large-scale environmental and engineering challenge that would dwarf anything the town is facing now.
It is imperative that measures be taken to address the erosion issue before it is too late.
Many theories exist about the right solution, the most recent and most favourable being sand replenishment as opposed to continuation of the existing rock wall north along the beach.
However, it will cost many millions of dollars of taxpayers’ dollars to make that happen and the money will have to be provided by the state and federal governments.
The previous government under Denis Napthine, a Port Fairy resident, was working with the shire on a solution but all that changed when Labor swept into power.
The challenge now is to get the Andrews government to sit up and take notice rather than sit on its hands and do nothing.
Port Fairy is a proud community that has helped itself. It has evolved from a sleepy backwater into one of Victoria’s tourism hotspots and it still has not reached its full potential.
It would be a scandal if those who have the power to save it squander that opportunity.
Sand replenishment happens all around Victoria — funded by the state government.
It is high time it happened in Port Fairy. Let’s give it a go.
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