Two Rocks residents upset by removal of beach stairs

Two Rocks residents upset by removal of beach stairs

TWO Rocks residents were upset to learn this week that beach access stairs will be removed on Monday.

Alison Moore told the Times they were notified of a City of Wanneroo information session by letter and about 30 people attended on August 3.

There they were told the stairs from Sovereign Drive to the beach would be demolished on August 8 and people would have to use a bush track 100m farther north to get through the dunes to the beach.

“There has been no consultation,” Ms Moore said.

“We accept that the structural integrity of the stairs has been undermined.

“We seek consultation with council for alternative options to be explored.

She said the alternative track did not meet the needs of the community and presented a safety risk as it was not visible from the street.

According to the City’s website, storm events in May caused significant beach erosion, making the stairs unsafe.

“Wave heights and water levels peaked on May 21, 2016 resulting in a significant loss of beach sand and collapse of some of the overlying dune system,” it said.

“The staircase structure is now unsafe, beyond repair and at risk of collapse in the event of further beach erosion.

“In order to address this safety risk, the beach access staircase and platform structure has been closed off to the public and will be removed by contractors in August.”

The website said the contractors would use the alternative during demolition and removal works, and it would open to the public after that finished at the end of August.

Ms Moore said it was “nonsensical to destroy valuable infrastructure” including the path and platform because the stairs needed repair or replacement.

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.

“For an extended timeframe the managed retreat option would result in infrastructure such as Sovereign Drive and private development becoming vulnerable to coastal processes,” it said.

“It was assessed that under the managed retreat option, Sovereign Drive would be vulnerable to severe storm erosion in approximately 45 years (2057).

“For the staged groyne option, Sovereign Drive was likely to be vulnerable to severe storm erosion in approximately 80 years (2092).”