Erosion at Marengo beach on the Great Ocean Road has increased to one metre a year. (ABC News: Margaret Paul)
More than 16,000 cubic metres of sand is being moved along beaches at Apollo Bay to protect the Great Ocean Road from coastal erosion.
Research from Victoria’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) found that in 2012 the beach was eroding at a rate of nine centimetres per year.
Great Ocean Road erosion fears
- 16,000 cubic metres of sand is being moved at beaches near Apollo Bay
- Sand works will create an extra three metres of sand dunes along 500 metres of beach
- In 2012, the beach was eroding at a rate of nine centimetres per year
- In 2016, the erosion rate had increased to one metre per year
In 2016, that had increased to one metre per year.
DELWP senior environmental planner Frances Northeast said the increase was significant, but it was not necessarily a permanent shift.
“We haven’t got enough data to know whether that’s part of a natural process and a cycle of sand coming and going over time, or whether it’s a change in what our coastline looks like,” she said.
But she said king tides in 2011, and again in 2015, had significantly damaged the sand dunes — as well as some significant infrastructure along the Great Ocean Road at Apollo Bay — and it was time to act.
Earlier this year, DELWP officers removed a toilet block at Marengo because of erosion.
The Department of Environment says the erosion increase is significant but may not be permanent. (ABC News: Margaret Paul)
The sand works will add an extra three metres of dunes along a 500-metre stretch of the coast.
Ms Northeast said the biggest risk with the work was that a king tide would wash it all away as soon as it was moved.
“If we didn’t do it, it’d be worse off, so it really is putting some resilience back into the foreshore and we will keep monitoring it,” she said.
Concern Great Ocean Road might be re-routed
The works are partly designed to protect the foundations of the Great Ocean Road, and locals hope the erosion will not get any worse.
There are concerns that if the erosion continues the Great Ocean Road might have to be moved inland.
The Otway Coast Committee’s general manager, Anthony Alfirinko, said re-routing the road would cause further problems for the community.
“We’re standing on one of the greatest assets in the country, for tourists and for the community, so we’ve got to make sure this infrastructure stays,” he said.
The sand works are partly designed to protect the Great Ocean Road which is popular with tourists. (ABC News: Margaret Paul)