Busselton beach erosion blamed on groynes

RACHEL CURRY, Busselton Dunsborough Times September 13, 2013, 4:36 pm

The City of Busselton has defended the use of sandbag groynes at Scout Road beach, as storms this week washed away sand restoration works.

Cheryl Sampson is one of several Busselton residents concerned about the stretch of beach east of the Goose Café.

Sandbag groynes are in place to prevent erosion but Mrs Sampson believed this was only exacerbating the problem.

“My point is that after the Port Geographe disaster with groynes, (the City) should have learnt their lesson,” she said.

“The groynes and the beach near the Goose has been restored, but the rest of the beach is now being eroded, badly.

“The walking path has already been diverted once, and at the current rate of erosion, it will be washed away again.”

Mrs Sampson said the constant sand restoration works at the beach were a waste of money and the eroded sand was creating another problem by forming a sand bar about 300m offshore.

She believed the City should remove the groynes and allow the beach to replenish itself.

The City’s acting chief executive Oliver Darby said sandbags were tried and tested methodology for reducing erosion and also the most economical option.

Mr Darby said the City spent about $75,000 on sand nourishment projects in the past 12 months, but declined to give a specific figure for Scout Road beach.

“The longer-term plan is to install a series of groynes decreasing in size east of the Scout Road Jetty to a point of natural accretion,” he said.

“This will facilitate a build-up of sand in the pockets between these groynes and broaden the beach.

“At this point in time the groynes are needed to protect the foreshore, the footpath and Geographe Bay Road.”

Mrs Sampson suggested the City could be letting the erosion happen to force the closure of that section of Geographe Bay Road, allowing Yoganup Park to flow directly on to the beachfront.

Mr Darby said this was “ludicrous”.

“The City is working exceptionally hard to stop coastal erosion in this area where there are valuable community assets under threat,” he said.

“There is no intention to close Geographe Bay Road, we are in fact working very hard to protect it.”

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