WITH the multimillion-dollar Cape Bridgewater foreshore works set to start soon, a group of residents say they are considering legal action to stop them after becoming concerned at plans to build a revetment/seawall structure along the foreshore.
The residents say there is no reason to build the structure and that it could destroy the beach, but Glenelg Shire Council says they have had many years to raise their concerns, while other residents and businesses support the works.
Among the items being built in the first stage of the foreshore project – which will cost more than $2 million, including $1.5 million from the state government – is a structure designed to prevent erosion which will run from east of the car park opposite Cape Bridgewater Sea View Lodge to past the Norfolk Island pine on the western side of the Portland Surf Life Saving Club building.
It will follow the contour of the existing foreshore (where sand meets land) and extend out somewhere between 2-4m while being up to 4.5m deep, tying in to the bedrock.
A boardwalk/pathway will be built on top of this wall with extra landscaping and vegetation.
Also part of the work will be ramps that comply with the Disability Discrimination Act, three sets of stairs, a vehicle access ramp and a viewing platform at the eastern end of the car park on the eastern side of the Bridgewater Bay Café.
Opponents fear the revetment structure will be more like a sea wall such as at Dutton Way, and have questioned the need for one.
They have been galvanised into action by local businessman Jo Austin, operator of Seals by the Sea and Cape Bridgewater Coastal Camp, who said the detailed design was nothing like the masterplan.
“They had a meeting with me about two months ago to work out how the seal tours and school camp were going to be affected by it,” he said.
“They showed me where the boat ramp was going to be and I said ‘what’s this rock wall, it wasn’t in the 2014 masterplan’.
“They said ‘yes it was’, but there’s definitely no rock wall there. I was horrified and I said if I’d known that earlier I would have (objected).
“We’re getting advice from engineers saying ‘why are they doing it, that beach is not being affected by erosion’.
“They’re going to be moving closer to the ocean and we’re worried we’re going to lose that beach (by the effect of the waves on the wall washing sand away).”
Mary Picard, who asked questions relating to the issue at Tuesday’s night’s council meeting, said she had two major concerns.
“We don’t actually know what they are doing,” she said.
“How can it be at that it’s at this stage and no-one in Cape Bridgewater knows what is happening. It seems like a really major transformation that they’re planning.”
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