Fremantle: report on Port Beach erosion due next May

Photo: Jon Bassett
Photo: Jon Bassett

ANOTHER summer will be finished before beachgoers know results of Fremantle Council’s new assessment of erosion and how to deal it at Port Beach.

Southern Port Beach remains closed after the first winter storms ate into its car park and dunes, prompting the council to build new protective rockwalls, after severe summer erosion exposed rubble and waste.

Last week, the State Government gave Fremantle a $40,000 Coastal Adaptation and Protection grant to investigate and assess the most recent damage, at-risk infrastructure and adapting to the threats.

Photo: Jon Bassett

“It is expected that a report will be available in May 2019, the information aimed to be gathered at point one is anticipated to be complete at this time,” a council spokesman said.

An additional $25,000 CAP grant with Mosman Park Council establishes a coastal monitoring program for Port, Leighton and Mosman Park beaches.

Fremantle considers this year’s erosion to comply with its 2016 Port Leighton and Mosman beaches Coastal Adaption Plan that found beach paths, off-street parking, kiosks and change rooms were at risk starting in the short term, Port Beach Road reserve and freight rail yards later, and Fremantle Port land in the long term.

The spokesman said the new assessment included studying the effect on erosion of neighbouring Rous Head’s extension in 2009, the current condition of beach buildings and other coast infrastructure, their influence on the erosion, and developing ways to either keep them, remove, or build or redesign protection.

However, there has been previous evidence from other locations that rockwalls narrow and steepen beaches because of scouring.

Asked to respond, the spokesman said rock walls protected land assets and their design and location influenced how sand moved

With more bad weather forecast, the spokesman said Port Beach would continue to be monitored and access tracks would be opened when conditions allowed.