Petition calls for beach access stairs off Sovereign Drive to stay

Petition calls for beach access stairs off Sovereign Drive to stay
Petition calls for beach access stairs off Sovereign Drive to stay

A PETITION with more than 600 signatures has called for the City of Wanneroo to delay removal of beach access stairs in Two Rocks.

Residents started the petition calling for the City to investigate other options earlier this month after learning it planned to demolish the stairs off Sovereign Drive due to safety concerns resulting from severe beach erosion.

The City delayed the August 8 demolition plans following a community campaign, and assets director Harminder Singh said it would undertake an independent engineering assessment.

Mr Singh said erosion from storms had prompted safety concerns and closure of the stairs earlier this year.

Resident Alison Moore said they collected 672 signatures on the petition, which was lodged at the August 16 council meeting.

Residents’ concerns related to access and safety issues of the alternative sandy access path proposed 100m farther north, which people could follow through the foreshore dunes to the beach.

Another resident, Elysia Regan said she, Ms Moore, Martin Roberts, Amelda Hawthorne and Carmine Travaglione had formed an action group, which will meet on Tuesday evening.

“This summer, there will be no safe beach access usable by all the residents unless immediate State and council action is taken,” Ms Regan said.

“This initial meeting will be to organise and to formalise our position and plan the direction of our activities.”

Butler MLA John Quigley raised the issue in State Parliament on Thursday, saying the Department of Transport had acknowledged Two Rocks Marina contributed to erosion farther north.

“These stairs just north of the Two Rocks Marina provide the only access to the beach for residents living north of the Two Rocks Shopping Centre and have been severely undermined by erosion,” he said.

Transport Minister Dean Nalder said infrastructure above the high water mark was the City’s responsibility, although the State Government helped fund local government projects through various grants.

“The construction of new coastal protection structures must be considered only as a last resort,” he said.

“The requirement is on the City to ensure that it does the proper analysis and works to make sure that whatever program is put in place can be sustained in the long term.”

The City’s coastal management plan includes a 2015 report by MP Rogers and Associates, which investigated and rated recommendations such as managed retreat and staged groyne solutions to erosion on the Two Rocks coastline.

It said managed retreat was largely successful due to the net present value in the 25-year timeframe but not beyond that.

According to the report, severe storm erosion would threaten Sovereign Drive in about 2057 under the managed retreat option, or about 2092 under the staged groyne option.

To join the action group, call Elysia on 0427 706 447 or email 42eland@dodo.com.au, or Alison on 0407 995 852 or email pjturner8@bigpond.com.