Long-term plan to help struggling West Beach

The Marshall Liberal Government will replenish up to 100,000 cubic metres of sand over two years and develop and implement a long-term strategy to help rescue one of the state’s struggling metropolitan beaches.


Dune erosion at West Beach is having a significant impact on the local environment and sand will be carted from other metropolitan beaches as part of the government’s $5.2 million New Life for Our Coastal Environment election commitment.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said coastal protection was a major priority for the State Government and West Beach had suffered for far too long.

“We are very lucky in South Australia to have some amazing beaches and coastlines and it’s important that we protect these for future generations,” said Minister Speirs.

“Investigations into sand loss and erosion at West Beach have been ongoing, and new approaches to address the issue in the long-term have been outlined in a report recently completed by environmental consultants Danish Hydraulics Institute (DHI).

“The report sets out new long-term options for managing erosion at West Beach and these will be considered by the State Government over the coming months.

“The report makes it clear that even if recent management activities were to be maintained, dune erosion would continue around West Beach and Henley Beach South, and progressively move north. We will therefore be moving away from these activities.

“To begin to address the report’s findings and help West Beach, the immediate priority is to cart sand to replenish the eroding West Beach.”

The Marshall Liberal Government has committed $1 million over two years to replenish the West Beach dunes, with around 40,000 to 50,000 cubic metres of sand to be carted from the Semaphore South breakwater each year.

Semaphore South breakwater has an accumulation of sand from the natural sand movement and is therefore well placed to handle the measures.

The sand carting works will start on Monday 15 October 2018.

“For the long term, we will be looking at the best way to get sand to West Beach from areas where sand is accumulating, and also from external sources,” said Minister Speirs. 

“The approach that is adopted will need to best meet the community’s needs and balance environmental, recreational, practical and financial considerations.”

The State Government has also allocated $1 million into research and development to find the best ways to manage beach replenishment in the future which includes investigating new sand sources as well as tackle other issues such as the impact that damaging sediment and pollutants from stormwater runoff have on our oceans and marine life.

Local Member for Colton Matt Cowdrey said the changes to beach management would be welcomed by local residents.

“Sand erosion at West Beach has been a problem for a long time and it’s pleasing that action is finally being taken to address this both now and in the long term,” said Mr Cowdrey.

“I am passionate about my community and coast and have been working closely with the Minister for Environment and Water to look at this issue.”

These initiatives are being delivered as part of the Marshall Liberal Government’s $5.2 million New Life for Our Coastal Environmentcommitment.

For a copy of the West Beach report visit www.environment.sa.gov.au/coasts

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