Rally Round the Dunes by Catherine Watson

First Published in the Bass Coast Post

MORE than 250 people braved strong easterly winds on the Inverloch surf beach on Wednesday January 12 to call for urgent action* to save the disappearing sand dunes. 

​They formed a line marking out where the dune face was in 2012 – now 70 metres out to sea – providing a graphic illustration of the rapid retreat of the dunes over the past 10 years.​

Philip Heath from the South Gippsland Conservation Society (SGCS) said Rally Round the Dunes was a chance for locals and supporters to show much they valued their beach.

While a long-term costal hazard adaptation plan is being developed, SGCS is calling for interim measures – sand renourishment and an extension of the existing wet sand fence – to protect the beach before predicted heavy swells wreak more havoc in autumn.

Bass Coast Mayor Michael Whelan told the rally the Inverloch beach was the “canary in the mine” for coastal erosion caused by climate change.

Calling for urgent action from the state and federal governments, he said the issue had to be tackled in a bipartisan manner.

SGCS and Friends of the Earth will present a petition to the Victorian Parliament in February.

*an earlier blog discussed the merits of short term versus long term action. See here.