From Bluewedges Newsletter 8th June 2012 Image by J.Clark
Ever since we first reported that Portsea beach was on the slide back in 2008, conditions there have continued downwards. The Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and the soon to be defunct Office of Environmental Monitor (OEM) however continue to claim that there is no connection between deepening of The Entrance and the damage to Portsea beach that followed soon after.
Sure- beaches come and go with the seasons and extreme weather – no argument. And, occasionally there would be a swell at Portsea which would break on the beach. The difference now is that there is regular ocean swell hitting the beach day after day, especially on an incoming tide. And, the beach that disappeared suddenly around the end of dredging has never come back.
We’ve got pictures over the decades dating back 100 years which show a relatively stable beach at Portsea, despite various extreme weather events, right up until 2008, when it all started to go pear shaped. So, if the cause has been extreme weather, as OEM and DSE seem to claim, why hasn’t the beach returned to normal as it did in the past after extreme weather? Instead DSE rushed in to spend over $2 million on the ghastly sandbag wall, which admittedly might be slowing rapid erosion of expensive real estate behind, but has done absolutely nothing for those who want their beach back.
And, of course, although there have been massive earthworks and sandbagging on the beach, that hasn’t solved the problem of why ocean swell is now regularly roaring in and pounding on the shore.
As well as dramatic loss of beach, conditions on the pier since 2008 have often been unsafe. Waves sometimes wash over unsuspecting sightseers and the low landing- supposedly for the safe transfer of passengers to and from boats – can be underwater at high tide or surging with swell and likely to knock you off your feet if you happen to be standing there when the now regular swell comes through.
Anyway, at last something was to be done about the pier – despite it being not many years since it was refurbished, and presumably to withstand all that nature could throw at it – otherwise what’s the point of a pier?
Parks Victoria to the rescue. In it’s 27th April 2012 Media Release, PV announced it would be raising the height of the low landing by 300 mm. Works would commence on 7th May and would likely be complete by 18th May.
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