Hendy Cowan

Hendy Cowan


    Options for Bunbury's Back Beach enhancement

    25/08/2000 9:46 AM

    An independent review of Bunbury’s Back Beach project has recommended three options be further investigated.

    Regional Development Minister Hendy Cowan released the independent report prepared by Mr Lex Nielsen of the University of New South Wales Water Research Laboratory today.

    The report recommends further investigation work be undertaken on:
    • the existing proposal;
    • sand nourishment with a groyne field comprising longer structures which may be partially submerged, and with a reassessment of the groyne spacing; and -
    • periodic sand nourishment without groynes.

    Mr Cowan said the State Government had committed to undertake the further studies recommended by Mr Nielsen.

    “The report states that conceptually, groynes will be effective in protecting the Back Beach from erosion and enable foreshore beautification works,“ he said.

    “However, further investigation needs to be undertaken on the size, construction material and location of the groynes.

    “The only other option is sand nourishment of the beach.”

    The outcomes of additional investigations and the implications of the options recommended by Mr Nielsen will be referred to the City of Bunbury for consideration.

    “The Government will not proceed with any aspect of the project without Council support,” Mr Cowan said.

    In 1998 the City of Bunbury called on the Government to find a permanent solution to erosion at Bunbury’s Back Beach after years of public consultation and debate, together with the expense of continually replenishing sand on the beach.

    Mr Cowan said that if the Council elected to adopt the sand replenishment option it would have to meet the continuing cost of such replenishment.

    Consideration would also need to be made on the ability to construct foreshore beautification works for each recommended option.

    The South West Development Commission has been asked by the Minister to identify any part of the current plan that could be constructed without the threat of ongoing erosion.

    This would have to be viewed as a stand-alone project and be supported by Bunbury City Council.

    A number of other options raised by the general community, including submerged offshore reefs and breakwater structures, offshore hemispherical pods and sea walls, were also considered by Mr Nielsen.

    All were deemed to have a very high risk of failure and could not be recommended.

    The independent review is available to the public through the South-West Development Commission.

    Media contact:-

    Peter Jackson (Minister’s office) 9222-9595
    Rachelle Fenton (SWDC) 9792-2000