Grants to improve coastal access

January 29, 2022 BY

Barwon Coast Committee of Management will replace and upgrade two sets of access stairs, including at 17W, seen here. Photo: BARWON COAST COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT

SAFER access to coastal areas is being provided for beachgoers on the Bellarine Peninsula following $1.3 million in funding through the Victorian Government’s Coastal Public Access and Risk Grants program.

The 20 coastal Crown land managers across the state, including volunteer and not-for-profit committees of management and local governments, will use up to $150,000 of funding each for projects that reduce coastal risk through identification, mitigation, and monitoring, and improve beach and foreshore access for the public.

At Ocean Grove, two sets of access stairs (12W and 17W) will be replaced and upgraded by Barwon Coast Committee of Management giving better and safer access to the beach, while Bellarine Bayside will be provided funding to construct three connected boardwalks through protected coastal saltmarsh at Indented Head.

Bellarine Bayside will also use an $11,560 grant to install landslide/rockfall risk warning signage at key locations along the foreshore from Portarlington to St Leonards, in accordance with recommendations of the 2021 geotechnical investigation.

“The 2021-22 program has delivered a record $1.3 million to 20 coastal Crown land managers for projects that reduce risk and improve public access at some of our state’s most popular and iconic beaches,” Bellarine MP Lisa Neville said.

“This funding will be used to support projects including track, stair and ramp replacements, installing warning signs, geotechnical risk assessments and investigating erosion mitigation measures.

“Coastal Crown land managers have a vital role caring for and protecting these precious spaces, which now, more than ever, are so important for the community’s wellbeing.

“Marine and coastal environments face a number of competing demands, including the impacts of climate change and an increasing number of people visiting our beaches.

“In addition to providing the community with safe access to our beaches, these grants help coastal Crown land managers manage risks to our precious coastal environments.”

The $1.3 million grants program is part of the Victorian government’s $15.8 million Safeguarding Marine and Coastal Environments in the Face of Climate Change program.

The Victorian Government says there are a range of risks that are inherent in a dynamic coastal environment, so this program aims to support a strategic and balanced approach to risk management along the Victorian coast.

To see the full list of recipients, head to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s Marine and Coasts website.