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Mayor's Message - 18 January

Mayor's Message - 18 January

Tuesday 18 January 2022
Mayor's Message
Cr Michael Whelan

The Rally Round the Dunes event held at Inverloch last Wednesday highlighted the ongoing impacts of erosion on the town’s iconic coastline. Council is concerned by the scale and speed of erosion along the Inverloch coast and the South Gippsland Conservation Society and local community should be commended for their efforts in monitoring the evolving situation, building up data and advocating for the resources Inverloch needs. There is so much at stake – whether it’s the surf beach, the dune ecosystems, our community infrastructure – we can’t afford to sit idly by when so many assets are only one storm event away from being changed forever.

While some protection measures have already been put in place, we will continue to work with the State Government through the Cape to Cape Resilience project to build a world class model of the complex processes driving this change across the Inverloch coast – so we can better predict what changes may still be ahead, and what impact various protection measures may have. We’ve written to both the State and Federal Environment Ministers, urging them to help us hold the line here in Inverloch, while the Cape to Cape Resilience studies are completed at full speed.

We need time to understand the best long-term solutions, but there are some measures we can use now to protect this shoreline in the short term. We’re urging the State and Federal governments to fund immediate ‘soft’ coastal protection measures, such as sand renourishment, to secure the coastline from being irreversibly changed in the next big storm. Meanwhile the important work of completing the Coastal Hazard Assessment must continue at full speed. We’re also calling on the State Government to commit to funding the long-term adaptation measures that the Coastal Hazard Assessment identifies, because the community needs confidence their patience and participation in the Cape to Cape Resilience Project will translate into real, timely action on the ground.

Changing the subject now, I just wanted to make a special mention of our people at the Phillip Island Visitor Information Centre, who had to adapt their services after the building sustained significant water damage following the storms last week and had to be closed. They have moved their services outside on to the deck, to make sure that any visitors who need information still have access to face to face service.