No foreshore surety for Wanneroo

Mark McGowan and John Quigley inspect the erosion site. d411367
Mark McGowan and John Quigley inspect the erosion site. d411367

Mayor Tracey Roberts told the Times building a sand bag wall as a short-term measure to protect the foreshore could cost millions of dollars.

In a letter to Transport Minister Troy Buswell last month, Mrs Roberts said she understood the City could apply for a coastal adaptation grant of up to $300,000 in the 2014-15 financial year, but the short-term option was likely to cost between $2.8 million and $3.5 million.

‘Our initial advice is this is going to be in the millions ” $300,000 is not going to cut it,’ she told the Times.

‘I’m very disappointed that the minister has not visited the beach and had a look for himself.

‘The City has got money allocated but we can’t withstand the whole amount ” it is a shared responsibility.

‘We need commitment, we need the minister to make a decision with regards to the works and funding.’

Mr Buswell said his staff and the Department of Transport met with Mrs Roberts and Wanneroo chief executive Daniel Simms at short notice on October 28.

‘A letter from the City of Wanneroo was received on October 29 regarding Quinns Beach erosion and I will respond in due course,’ Mr Buswell said.

‘I am aware of the issues raised by the City and while I appreciate those concerns, other coastal communities are also experiencing erosion and coastal degradation problems.’

Mr Buswell said the State Government had already given the City $100,000 to investigate coastal erosion at the beach.

‘It is the Government’s understanding that the council has adequate funding reserves to address this issue, if they deemed it to be a priority,’ he said.

‘On that basis, we will not be providing the funding the City has requested.

‘However, the State Government has a demonstrated history of working with the City of Wanneroo on this issue.

‘We will continue this work to develop suitable short-term measures to manage this issue while a sustainable long-term management option is identified.’

Last week in parliament, Butler MLA John Quigley asked the minister if he would commit 50 per cent of emergency funding to sandbagging, but Mr Buswell said he did not know what funding he meant and was not prepared to guarantee any funding.

Mr Quigley told the Times the Department of Transport had a coastal protection policy which included measures for emergency coastal protection works.

It said such works were necessary to protect coastal assets at immediate risk of damage from coastal erosion.

‘The State Government through the Department of Transport, will provide ‘ent policy clearly states 50 per cent of the cost of these works will be met by the State, but Mr Buswell is refusing to act.’

Mrs Roberts said the foreshore and Ocean Drive were under threat and erosion issues needed to be resolved urgently.

‘There is a significant amount of community concern, understandably so,’ Mrs Roberts said.

‘Ocean Drive has all of our services underneath.

‘It is a popular beach – generations of families have used it.’