Beach erosion fund plan

Sam JonesNorth West Telegraph
Cyclone Veronica caused major erosion at Cemetery Beach. The sand dunes are mostly gone which caused a public access stairs to fall away. The sand wall created at the beach is approximately four metres.
Camera IconCyclone Veronica caused major erosion at Cemetery Beach. The sand dunes are mostly gone which caused a public access stairs to fall away. The sand wall created at the beach is approximately four metres. Credit: Amy Blanco

A plan to secure government and industry funding in response to the threat of erosion hazards for Port Hedland was due to be considered this week.

Town of Port Hedland commissioner Fred Riebeling will tomorrow night consider a motion to investigate funding opportunities for the Richardson, Sutherland and Goode streets erosion areas, as part of the organisation’s coastal hazard risk management and adaption plan.

A Town officer’s report stated that sea levels in the north, north-west and south-east of Australia had risen at a greater rate than the global average since 1993, which would affect Port Hedland, as it was “constructed in the belief that the shoreline would remain stable.”

“Port Hedland’s exposure to the ocean, coastal flats fronted by coastal dune systems and floodplains, and risk of cyclones and extreme weather events, makes it extremely vulnerable to changes in sea level, even in the absence of climate change,” the document said.

“While personal safety is the highest priority, Port Hedland’s coastal reserve supports key industry economic infrastructure of State and national significance, industry supply chain and transport hubs and community services and infrastructure servicing both Port and South Hedland.”

The document said permanent land loss and threats to land use could impact residential properties and the West End town centre, as well as public beaches, playground infrastructure and roads at the West End of Sutherland Street East and near Goode Street.

Stage one of the coastal hazard risk management and adaptation plan would see the town approach both government and industry to pool funding in order to combat issues posed by the rising sea levels.

Mr Riebeling said he hoped government and industry could come together to help protect the coastal residents of Port Hedland.

“The Town can’t do this alone, so working together and pooling resources will identify opportunities for effective management and mitigation of coastal hazards in the town,” he said.

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