Gingin info session on coastal erosion

1635
Mapping shows coastal erosion in the Shire of Gingin is likely to only get worse in the places where it is already a problem. Picture: Anita McInnes

THE Shire of Gingin will release coastal erosion hazard maps and host a community workshop later this month as part of an ongoing project to plan for the immediate and long term risks associated with coastal erosion.

The shire’s move to seek community input on how to best manage foreseeable changes to coastlines within its boundaries should please Lancelin coastcare group The Friends of Lancelin Coast.

In June last year in Should Grace Darling Park be moved? (https://www.yanchepnewsonline.com.au/grace-darling-park-moved/) The Friends of Lancelin Coast said the shire had not consulted with the community about plans to address erosion of the beach at Grace Darling Park.

This week Shire of Gingin chief executive officer Jeremy Edwards said the shire would be seeking community input on how it might best manage foreseeable changes to coastlines within its boundary.

“It is vital the community understands the changes occurring to our coastlines and to provide input on managing those changes into the future,” he said.

“Hazard mapping confirms that both public and private assets are vulnerable to coastal erosion over planning timeframes for 2030, 2070 and 2110.

“The erosion hazard mapping confirms that the most vulnerable areas to coastal erosion over the short term (2030) are those where erosion is presently occurring.

“Those areas that are vulnerable to coastal erosion over the longer term (2070 and 2110) are, unsurprisingly, the lower lying sandy landforms.

“(But) it’s important for the community to keep in mind that these maps do not predict future shoreline positions.

Last year in June Mr Edwards said a draft coastal hazards risk and management adaption plan had been produced and was being peer reviewed by the Deapartment of planning, which had contributed $35,000 towards the plan.

“The Shire of Gingin is awaiting their comments before making it available for community consultation,’’ he said.

Mr Edwards said the coastal hazard risk management and adaptation plan would include potential options such as sand replacement, seawalls, groynes and offshore breakwaters and a planned retreat from the foreshore.

At the time John Hatch from The Friends of Lancelin Coast said the group wanted to start discussing a planned retreat from Grace Darling Park and for the park’s infrastructure and lawn to be relocated.

Mr Hatch said the planned retreat could be achieved by moving Grace Darling Park into the northwest corner of the Southend Caravan Park fronting Hopkins St, which was already grassed.

He said Grace Darling Park should then be returned to natural dune to create a soft beach to absorb wave energy in an attempt win back the area’s natural shoreline and beach.

Mr Hatch said the group also wanted the Shire of Gingin to start a program, which would educate the public about the positives and negatives of installing infrastructure on the beaches and costs involved in maintaining it.

Shire of Gingin chief executive officer Jeremy Edwards said the shire had been advised by Department of Transport coastal engineers that sand re-nourishment was still the preferred option to deal with the erosion happening at the park.

Last year $20,000 of sand the shire had carted in to replenish the beach was washed away.

Mr Edwards said in the 2015-16 financial year, the shire allocated $75,000 for sand re-nourishment work at Grace Darling Park – $35,500 was a grant from the Department of Transport with the shire matching the remaining $35,500.

“Due to favourable weather conditions throughout most of the 2015-16 financial year, only $20,000 of the $75,000 was spent on sand re-nourishment,’’ he said.

Mr Hatch said it was important to educate the public about the consequences of using rock walls and hard surfaces as they could create a similar but bigger problem than what was already happening at the park.

Mr Edwards said the project was being undertaken in accordance with state planning policy 2.6: coastal planning policy, which outlined specific planning guidance for coastal managers across Western Australia.

A community engagement session will be held on Sunday, May 28, from 10am to 1pm at the Lancelin Angling and Aquatic Club, Hopkins St, Lancelin.

At the session, the community will have the opportunity to view and discuss maps, provide information about the uses and values of coastal areas to inform future planning, and see examples of how other communities are adapting to coastal change.

Coastal engineers, marine scientists, planners and Shire representatives will be on hand to discuss the information in person.

The hazard maps and accompanying information are available at www.gingin.wa.gov.au

For more information contact Ashley Robb at arobb@gingin.wa.gov.au