A PLAN to reduce erosion along Port Fairy’s popular East Beach has been given a kick-start by the state government.
Environment and Climate Change Minister Ryan Smith yesterday announced a $146,500 grant to allow Moyne Shire to carry out emergency repairs to the sea wall in the next few months.
“Port Fairy is a very popular tourist destination. Its heritage is of great significance and its beaches are also a major drawcard for visitors,” Mr Smith said.
The council is planning to repair the northern end of the rock wall at the beach and rehabilitate the adjoining dune.
Moyne Shire mayor Jim Doukas said the repair work was essential to ensure the future of the surrounding area.
“You can’t have a beach town without a decent beach,” Cr Doukas said.
“The community has been very vocal about its concerns for the future of East Beach and the council will do everything in its power to address those concerns.
“The rehabilitation of East Beach will be an ongoing project, but the current work will be a step towards preserving one of Port Fairy’s greatest assets.”
The shire’s environmental sustainability manager Dr Raelene Mibus said the high risk of a breach due to continued erosion of the primary dune at the end of the rock wall made the project a high priority.
“The area involved is the narrowest part of the sand spit between the ocean and the Moyne River flood plain and has been deemed highly vulnerable,” Dr Mibus said.
“Rebuilding the end of the sea wall and modifying about 100 metres of its length will help dissipate wave energy from the pounding surf and reduce erosion along the unprotected coastal dune beyond the end of the sea wall, as well as behind the first 100 metres of the northern end of the wall.”
The dune restoration will include replacing weeds with native species such as spinifex and other hardy species.
Mr Smith said the government was committed to work with the shire to reduce the risk to the town from river flooding, coastal inundation and coastal erosion.
“Reducing coastal erosion at Each Beach — which includes repairing the sea wall, a coastal hazard assessment and a floodplain management plan — are examples of joint initiatives that are under way to assist Port Fairy prepare for extreme weather events.”
The council and the Department of Sustainability and Environment have formed a working group to co-ordinate and implement the plans.
“The information will help the Port Fairy community, including Moyne Shire Council, landowners, property development, planning and emergency services, to plan for extreme weather events,” Mr Smith said.
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