Mosman Park and Fremantle put forward plans to protect beaches from climate change effects


Mayors Brad Pettitt (suit) and Ron Norris (beard) have different challenges to the erosion caused by the same rises in sea levels. Picture: Jon Bassett
Mayors Brad Pettitt (suit) and Ron Norris (beard) have different challenges to the erosion caused by the same rises in sea levels. Picture: Jon Bassett

MOSMAN Park may build hard barriers but Fremantle will initially protect soft sand dunes in a joint plan to adapt its Port, Leighton and Mosman beaches to rising sea levels in the next 85 years.

“I think the first thing you’ll see is soft infrastructure, like dune protection and revegetation, and not groynes or hard constructions.” Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said about the Our Coastal Future Adaptation Plan.

The plan’s draft is now out for comment on its solutions costing about $34 million to erosion and sea inundation along the 3km of coast, after public submissions earlier this year.

“Over time the coast will become increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise, storm surges and changes in sediment transport and natural sediment stores,” the draft plan said.

It recommended developing responses in the short-term until 2030, the medium-term until 2070 and long-term until 2110.

The plan, found there was an extreme risk to the steps, cliff, path and parking at Mosman Beach in the short term, with the same threat to the Leighton Beach change room, Fremantle Surf Life Saving Club, Port Beach Road Reserve and Port beach carpark in the medium term.

Options included avoiding development, relocating buildings, accommodating erosion by occasional sand dumping or retrofitting building for flooding, and sea barriers.

Fremantle is currently developing its part of the coastal strip, and it wants the State Government to widen the adjacent reserve for more dunes so any development is not affected by sea rises.

“The key thing is going to new long-term planning and making sure new development and the road is set back properly to ensure there is no retreat,” Dr Pettitt said.

However, hard infrastructure such as seawall may save Mosman Beach, where that town’s council still proposes an ocean pool on the man-made cliffs.

“If an ocean pool were to proceed then it would solve most of the problems we have in our section of the beach,” Mosman Park Mayor Ron Norris said.

Comment on the draft plan at mysay.fremantle.wa.gov.au/coast-plan.

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