The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DWELP) last month unveiled six proposals to protect the popular stretch – all but one involving construction of new rock or timber groynes.
The options were revealed at two Open House sessions last month - the latest in an ongoing consultation program, funded by the state government and prompted by community concerns for the future of the beach.
The most radical plan involves the construction of two additional rock groynes, two timber groynes and a breakwater, adjacent to the Point Lonsdale Bowls Club – at an estimated cost of $1 million.
The structure would be approximately 10 – 15 metres wide and 65 metres in length, and according to research undertaken by DELWP, would assist in maintaining a more even beach.
The options include:
* Maintain extend the existing three rock groynes, with ongoing maintenance.
* Extend the existing three rock walls by 20-30 metres.
* Construct four additional rock groynes – similar in length and alignment to the exiting three.
* Build additional two additional rock and two additional timber groynes and a breakwater, and
* Construct four additional timber groynes, between the existing rock groynes, to be capture sand and withstand high wave action.
However the approach has been labelled “confusing” by a leading voice for action.
“Unfortunately the options presented were a little confusing and repetitive. It was also a little strange that the community were being asked to vote on which option they thought would work, when such a decision requires quite a deep level of understanding of the coastal processes in action at the Heads,” said Save Point Lonsdale Front Beach group’s James Cotton.
“The general consensus from those that understand the intricacies of the problem is that the groyne that was planned below the bowling club (Option 4) and never built needs to be put in place as soon as possible to save the promenade, which, since the last groyne open house has now had its foundations eroded.”
Mr Cotton said it was important locals maintained the momentum for action, by visiting the Lonsdale Bight website and having a say on the proposals.
“The more feedback they get, the faster we should get a solution,” he said.
The Department worked with coastal engineering consultants Cardno to investigate the options.
Community feedback will be presented to the State Government in October for consideration.
A community and monitoring group will also be created for interested participants.
The website is: engage.vic.gov.au/lonsdale-bight