GORCC chief executive officer Vanessa Schernickau (left), federal member for Corangamite Libby Coker (centre) and GORCC acting coastal reserves manager Evan Francis in front of the dunes at Anglesea Beach.

Coker demands more of Morrison government on climate change

September 12, 2019 BY

LAST week federal member for Corangamite Libby Coker urged the Morrison Government to take more decisive action on climate change.

Ms Coker said the $6 million the federal government promised to protect Corangamite’s coast and its wildlife was insufficient.

“While any funding for dune and coastal restoration is welcomed, the approach from the Morrison Government is just plugging the gaps and not addressing the cause,” Ms Coker said.

“Climate change is real and we must act now to protect vital coastal infrastructure.”

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) is planning to put more fencing around the dunes at Anglesea Beach. This would stop people walking across the dunes which damages vegetation and causes erosion.

The vegetation around the Corangamite coast is also an important habitat to many species, including the endangered Hooded Plover.

Ms Coker said having recently visited a number of coastal communities in the area she had seen the environmental degradation first-hand.

“During my tour I saw evidence of the impacts of climate change. It’s not only sand dunes that are being washed away, but roads, footpaths and even toilet blocks.”

“The Morrison Government funding is a drop in the ocean. If this government will not face our climate emergency they must face and fund the implications of their inaction – sea level rise, habitat loss, coastal erosion and loss of infrastructure.”

A couple of weeks ago Coker supported the Surf Coast Shire for declaring a climate emergency.

Coker also said she supported Western Australia’s premier Mark McGowan’s request that federal, state and local governments work together to manage coastal erosion across and climate change in general.

“This is a national problem that needs a national response. A few million dollars is totally inadequate.”