The Rip Chamber of Commerce has put forward the idea as part of its push to clean up the beach and protect the town’s heritage pier from being reclaimed by sand.
The ambitious plan would also include installation of demountable bathing boxes for visitor accommodation.
Chamber president Tony Francis met with officers from the Borough of Queenscliffe, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Parks Victoria at the beach recently to explain the vision.
“I think the community is just fed up with the lack of action on that beach and they want to see something done and this was a way of starting a conversation if you like, we just want to get things moving,” Mr Francis said.
“We need to find a solution to our sand management. We’re losing sand at places like Dog Beach and Point Lonsdale but it’s building at this beach and if we don’t do something soon our pier will be out of water in about 20 years. The sand is also filling up the reefs at the front of the beach.
“This was about getting stakeholders together to talk about how we can proactively manage the problem, as well as obviously restoring the beach to one people want to come to,” he said.
The proposal would include removing a large area of sand to allow water to flow further up onto the beach, creating a lagoon. A rough mock-up image distributed by the Chamber suggests it would fill in most of the mid-section of the beach.
Removable bathing boxes, providing peak season accommodation for tourists, would be installed around its shoreline.
“They [the officers] loved the beach box concept and thought it was a great idea. From DELWP and Parks’ perspective, they had no problem with it and the Council [officers] also liked it,” said Mr Francis.
“They also liked the lagoon idea but obviously there is a lot to work through regarding that proposal. They all know that there’s a build up of sand here and it’s a problem.
“It’s growing I estimate at about one to two metres a year and you can already see a new sand dune forming and there are impacts for the pier and for the environment,” he said.
A Borough of Queenscliffe spokesperson said it was too early for Council to comment on the ideas.
“A meeting held at the Queenscliff front beach explored a number of topics. Discussions were very preliminary in nature and no decisions were reached,” she said.
“Councillors did not participate in these informal discussions. Should any proposal discussed be feasible, Council will of course be briefed at the appropriate time when more information is available.”
The front beach clean up has been identified as the second of six priority projects identified by the borough’s Tourism and Economic Development Advisory Committee (TDAC).
Council is resourcing a landscape architect to consider possibilities and the Queenscliffe Historical Museum has been engaged to compile a background on the beach’s original sea baths, minutes from the group’s recent meeting show.