At least 13 wooden staircases leading to Warrnambool's beaches have been earmarked for safety upgrades, but councillors warn the works won't be cheap.
Cr Max Taylor said the new $250,000 steel staircase at Worm Bay had set a precedent and was a great example of what could be done.
"The old wooden staircases barely exist from one winter to the next, and even though the steel staircase at Worm Bay may have cost a considerable amount of money, I think that is offset by the yearly repairs after a stormy winter to the wooden staircases," he said.
The council adopted its Beach Access Strategy but the audit found 13 of the 33 beach access points needed replacing while another seven needed improvements.
Two beach access points at The Flume are set to be consolidated into one accessible ramp.
Cr Richard Ziegeler said the key recommendation included the replacement of accessible ramps near the surf club as well as three new accessible ramps in Lady Bay and the Hopkins River to replace existing structures.
"All of these come at a cost, and because they're so extensive and require so much work and that comes expensively," Cr Ziegler said.
"It is one of the most beautiful and unique foreshores in the world and we have got to look after it. It comes at a price."
Cr Debbie Arnott said she didn't realise there were so many beach access points the council had to take care of and maintain. "That's a lot of access points between Shelly Beach and Logan's Beach," she said.
Cr Arnott said the audit found some structures were not "fit for purpose" and the strategy would guide how the council would maintain the beach access points over the next 15 years.
"It is imperative we do maintain access to our beaches. They are a major tourism destination. We have a growing population and we also need to consider the climate effects our frequent storms and increased wave heights," she said.
Cr Angie Paspaliaris said the interest in the beach access points had attracted a lot of public feedback, and the strategy paved a path as to how the council decided to seek funding and for what.
She said she was concerned about emergency access to the beach - something that was highlighted in the report.
Mayor Vicki Jellie said for safety reasons, the beach access points needed to be upgraded.
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