A “DEFINITIVE solution” to erosion at Portsea front beach will be part of a Liberal state government $10 million investigation to find “erosion solutions right across Port Phillip”.
Liberal candidate for Nepean Sam Groth said long term neglect by the state government “could not be more evident than in the current state of Portsea front beach”.
He said millions of dollars had been wasted since 2009 building and renewing a sandbag wall.
Groth said Nepean Ratepayers Association president Colin Watson had told him that a “nearshore reconfiguration dredging proposal is not shovel ready”.
“This was reinforced by advice from Dr Andrew McCowan from Water Technology that additional work needs to be done over and above the studies by Advisian in 2017,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the Labor minister in 2017/2018 would not commit the further approximately $50,000-$60,000 in funds to finalise designs and has constantly refused to fund the project.”
Groth said the problems at Portsea was part of his party’s $10 million commitment “to provide erosion solutions right across Port Phillip Bay, including providing the community with a definitive solution to Portsea beach”.
Groth disputed that finding a solution to the Portsea erosion would be a waste of money or could be described as “throwing envelopes of cash off Portsea pier” (“Lib $10m erosion plan ‘waste of time, money’” The News 5/9/22).
Watson told The News that a 2017 report by Advisian commissioned by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) had a “stand out option” titled “nearshore reconfiguration dredging”.
“Unfortunately, the state government refused to fund this proposal as the cost was estimated to be $20 million. Instead, they went ahead and after time spent about $2.5 million repairing the old sandbag wall that was installed in 2009.
“The only way to remediate Portsea front beach back to what it was before the channel deepening project is to divert the massive wage energy that has [since] been coming into Portsea.”
Watson said he had been told the Advisian report “hasn’t gone far enough to shore up whether the nearshore reconfiguration dredging will be 100 per cent successful”.
He said the Liberal party was proposing to spend $50,000-$60,000 on “this vital further study before $20m is committed to start the project”.
“From the community’s view this is a very attractive offer as the current state government has walked away from Portsea saying the reconditioned sandbag wall recently completed will last another 10 years.”