In the ten or so years I have been enjoying East Beach in Port Fairy I have noticed the beach slowly disappearing. At high tide now you can’t walk on the beach as the water comes all the way up to the rocks (put there to protect against corrosion). Last summer I noticed visitors setting up early in the day on the beach not realising there would be no beach to occupy as the tide came in.
In the last couple of weeks around 20cm of sand has washed away. A large storm that caused a lot of damage to both Warrnambool and Port Fairy washed it away. The ramps that offer entry to the beach for prams, bikes and disability vehicles now drop off 20 centimetres. They haven’t been topped up or signs put up warning people. Much of the fine sand has gone with the course being on top now.
At some time this will need to be addressed. The golf course is at risk from corrosion and there are fears the 100 year old tip will be exposed to the beach. In a recent article it was stated the tip had a road in front of it between it and the ocean. It has now completely gone.
Moyne shire should be praised for the remedial work placing large boulders along the beach face to protect infrastructure but the state and federal governments are very quiet when it comes to beach repairs.
Sooner or later the sand will need replacing. It won’t happen naturally as the breakwater has been stopping it for the last 80 years. It needs to be trucked or pumped. A beach town needs a beach and who wants a beach without sand. Time for all three levels of government to support remedial works being eroded whether it be by climate change or not.