Climate change means more to come
CORANGAMITE MP Darren Cheeseman says storm damage to Apollo Bay’s coastline should act as a warning on the dangers of climate change.
Four-metre-high swells hit areas along the Great Ocean Road on the weekend, damaging 30 metres of Apollo Bay’s foreshore at an estimated cost of up to $150,000.
“Whilst this was a natural event, with climate change we will get more of these events and they will become more intense and we can see just how vulnerable our coastline is,” Mr Cheeseman said.
“Once significant sea level rise kicks in, that’s when we will see the Great Ocean Road breached and our tourism traders at a standstill,” he said.
“It’s a warning and a very good reason to act on climate change to prevent this sort of damage in my view.”
Otway Coast Committee executive officer Gary Pike said he had spoken to the Department of Sustainability and Environment and would develop a plan on the best way to rehabilitate the foreshore.
Mr McPike said he would consult with major stakeholders, VicRoads and Barwon Water, and planned to start work “in the next week or so”.
“It’s so that we can avoid further erosion – we’re five metres from the Great Ocean Road,” he said.
“If we don’t act on it in a timely manner there will be even greater affected areas.”
Meanwhile, Bureau of Meteorology duty meteorologist James Taylor said further coastal wind warnings would ease by this afternoon.
He said a new cold front would “freshen things up a bit”, but would not be as powerful as Sunday’s.
“There was a high pressure system that was located south of Western Australia and it was a fairly strong high and a very deep high pressure system and associated cold front moved south of Tasmania during Saturday and Sunday,” he said.
“The cold front went through Sunday and the severe weather was associated with that.”