Plan to man­age coast risks

Southern Telegraph - - News - Pierra Wil­lix

As the coast­line across Rock­ing­ham con­tin­ues to be af­fected by chang­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions, the City of Rock­ing­ham has said its Coastal Haz­ard Risk Man­age­ment and Adap­ta­tion Plan is set to be com­pleted next year.

The doc­u­ment is set to guide key de­ci­sions on coastal adap­ta­tions across the lo­cal coast­line over the next 100 years.

The CHRMAP is a doc­u­ment re­quired un­der the State Gov­ern­ment, with the aim to in­form the com­mu­nity and de­ci­sion mak­ers about po­ten­tial coastal hazards such as ero­sion and in­un­da­tion, and the risks and nec­es­sary ac­tions.

The City’s CHRMAP will out­line key di­rec­tions for coastal adap­ta­tion over a 100-year time­frame to guide land use plan­ning de­ci­sions, while also pri­ori­tis­ing man­age­ment re­sponses over the next 10 years.

One of the area’s most used beaches, Waikiki beach, was re­cently one of three case stud­ies in a re­port from the Peron Nat­u­ral­iste Part­ner­ship — a group of nine lo­cal gov­ern­ments be­tween Cape Peron and Cape Nat­u­ral­iste — with the re­port putting for­ward sug­ges­tions for coastal man­age­ment.

The study fo­cused on the area of the beach from Don­ald Drive to Short Street, an area iden­ti­fied by the State Gov­ern­ment as a coastal vul­ner­a­bil­ity hotspot, which has re­quired sig­nif­i­cant man­age­ment in­clud­ing con­struc­tion of a buried sea­wall and sand nour­ish­ment.

Res­i­dents who took part were asked to sug­gest ac­tions for adap­ta­tions likely to be ef­fec­tive and prac­ti­cal at each site, with dune re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, sand nour­ish­ment and com­mu­nity ed­u­ca­tion high­lighted by Waikiki res­i­dents.

They no­ticed more changes such as beaches erod­ing, sparser dune veg­e­ta­tion and dam­age to in­fra­struc­ture, com­pared with sites in Bun­bury and Bus­sel­ton.

The re­port writ­ers sug­gested some of the points raised could be adopted in fu­ture CHRMAPs.

Friends of Point Peron founder James Mumme, said af­ter 20 years of ob­serv­ing the lo­cal coast­line, div­ing and study­ing is­sues, just two things were needed — to learn from na­ture and from his­tory.

“Nat­u­ral forces should not be tri­fled with: just be­cause we have the abil­ity to build some­thing doesn’t mean it’s a good idea or is go­ing to last,” he said.

“Let’s not put ex­pen­sive in­fra­struc­ture in the wrong place and . . . re­peat past mis­takes.”

Rock­ing­ham Mayor Barry Sam­mels said coastal haz­ard mod­el­ling had been un­der­taken by the City to in­form prepa­ra­tion of the CHRMAP, with much of the city’s coast­line listed as po­ten­tially vul­ner­a­ble to coastal hazards. Mr Sam­mels said it was an­tic­i­pated the City’s draft CHRMAP would be pre­sented to the coun­cil in the first quar­ter of 2019, with a pub­lic com­ment pe­riod to fol­low be­fore the fi­nal re­port was fi­nalised.

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