- Open for comment
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In 2016, the Shire engaged consultants to prepare a Coastal hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Plan (CHRMAP). The CHRMAP provides strategic guidance on management and adaptation in areas exposed to coastal processes within the key coastal settlements identified by the AMRSC. These settlements are Gracetown, Prevelly, Gnarabup, Hamelin Bay, Molloy Island, Augusta North (Blackwood River) and Augusta South (Flinders Bay).
For each location, the CHRMAP identifies a 10 year coastal process allowance with structures in this zone likely to be subject to coastal processes (erosion) during this timeframe. New structures should either be located outside this zone, be designed to accommodate forecast erosion, or protected from erosive forces. For Melaleuca Beach specifically, the CHRMAP identifies a coastal processes allowance of 20m.
The stairs at Melaleuca beach became severely undermined due to coastal erosion in Winter of 2018. The beach has been monitored since that time, to determine if sufficient sand has returned to allow the stairs to be repaired at a low cost, however this has not occurred.
Due to the lack of sand returning, the construction method and the age of the existing structure, it is not possible to simply repair or adapt the damaged stairs to accommodate current and forecast beach levels. The estimated cost to replace the stairs with a similar structure is in the order of $30,000. Based on the recommended coastal process allowance in the CHRMAP, a revised design to accommodate coastal processes is forecast to cost in the order of $40,000. While reducing access is not considered desirable in most cases, given the number of existing beach access points at Melaleuca beach the Shire has determined to not replace the structure, ensuring ratepayer funds are best spent.
The existing structure will be removed and rehabilitation works including modification to the fencing and revegetation will be undertaken.