Erosion fears for Geraldton coastline

Headshot of Geoff Vivian
Geoff VivianGeraldton Guardian
The beach out the front of Sunset Beach Holiday Park hit by erosion in 2018.
Camera IconThe beach out the front of Sunset Beach Holiday Park hit by erosion in 2018. Credit: Daniel Wilkins, The Sunday Times

Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn says he is worried a severe storm could erode the Sunset Beach coastline, undermining the carpark, road and parts of the caravan park.

“Early designs for a sandbag groyne solution like Drummond Cove and Bluff Point have a preliminary costing of approximately $2.2 million,” he said.

“The City has an annual budget of $600k for coastal protection works, meaning a full roll-out of the protection proposal could take a number of years without State or Federal funding.”

In a letter to the mayor and councillors, WA Premier Mark McGowan said financial support from various State grant funds may offer a maximum $1.6 million a year.

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“The City may continue to apply for State Government-funded coastal management grants,” the Premier said.

“The responsibility for coastal management remains with the City and at present there is no scope for additional government financial support.”

Agricultural Region member Darren West said he was unaware of the letter, so he could not comment on it.

“The McGowan Government has invested heavily in the Beresford Foreshore Project to combat coastal erosion,” he said, referring to the project made possible by more than $26 million State Government funding.

The mayor said temporary sandbag groyne coastal protection at Drummond Cove and Bluff Point was holding up.

Member for Geraldton Ian Blayney said Drummond Cove, Sunset Beach, Point Moore and St Georges Beach would all need protection over the next five to 10 years.

“The State and maybe the Federal Government needs to see how they are going to address it all around the coastline,” he said.

“It is not something we can just ignore.”

Mr Blayney said he would like to take a proposal to protect Drummond Cove coastline to the next election.

In a letter to the mayor and councillors, Member for Durack Melissa Price said she would be happy to meet the mayor to better understand the effects of coastal erosion in Geraldton.

She did not mention any Federal funding for coastal erosion.

The $18.8 million Beresford foreshore enhancement project was WA winner of Parks and Leisure Australia’s best regional/rural industry contribution award and a finalist in the awards of excellence.

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