Erosion issue on the table

Saskia AdystiAlbany Advertiser

Coastal erosion between Middleton Beach and Emu Point will be discussed at a City of Albany community meeting tonight.

The City has developed a Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Plan for the coastline which has faced erosion issues for years.

Major projects officer Emma Evans said the hazard map showed potential coastal erosions in the area, including sea level rise in the next 100 years.

The map will assist the City to consider future hazards when making planning and other long-term decisions.

“We will appoint a consultant and start working through this CHRMAP, but it’s very much going to be a community-driven outcome,” Ms Evans said.

“There is no perfect solution, especially when you take into account sea level rise, so that’s going to be for the community to determine.

“It’s about trade-off and about prioritising.”

Former president of Friends of Emu Point group Ken Drummond said he was bemused with the lack of action taken in the area over the years.

“It’s a world-class tourist destination but they don’t treat it like that. It just got pushed back and back,” he said.

“Now they’re going to build a coast reef without fully understanding the coastal system and how to handle the erosion problem and how to fix it up.

“People in Albany should be up in arms about this. It’s a big problem.”

The coastal erosion problems from Ellen Cove (Middleton Beach) to the Emu Point Boat Pen has been ongoing for more than 20 years.

It started after a massive storm that destroyed the natural protection on the coast line.

Ms Evans said the City had managed to build some structures and sea walls in the area to protect the coastline from erosion. However, that only managed to move the erosion further down the coast.

But this time the City was hopeful of finding a resolution.

“We’ve been measuring the beach, we’ve been measuring the sea grass, we’ve been measuring the size of the sands, and we’ve been doing all this work that’s now fed into the new modelling. It’s the most accurate work that has ever been done into the area,” Ms Evans said.

The first public meeting is from 11am to 2pm and 5pm to 7.30pm at the Emu Point Sporting Club today. Further sessions will be held at Albany Surf Life Saving Club at 11am and 5pm on Wednesday, November 29.

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