NEW LIFE FOR OUR COASTAL ENVIRONMENT

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will ensure coastal protection is a major priority of the South Australian Environment Department, recognising that management of our coast is a critical environmental, social and economic need.

THE PROBLEM

South Australia has 5,067 km of coastline.

It is one of our most precious natural resources.

Our coastline’s stunning beauty contributes to South Australia being one of the greatest places in the world to live.

It is a crucial drawcard for our tourism industry.

It provides habitat for hundreds of species of birds and animals and underpins thousands of jobs.

Our coast is loved by many but it is suffering from the effects of significant storms over recent winters which have caused millions of dollars of damage and depleted beaches of thousands of tonnes of sand.

Infrastructure, including roads, footpaths, stairways, jetties and boat ramps, have been damaged or destroyed, while natural features such as sand dunes have been swept away.

Through years of human interaction, including inappropriate development, our coastline has lost much of its natural resilience which in turn has damaged the ability of beaches to protect themselves from storms.

Loss of sand dune systems, seagrass meadows and beach sand has diminished natural barriers to erosion. This is increasingly putting more infrastructure, including residential housing and commercial property, at risk.

Adelaide’s metropolitan beaches suffer from a natural process called littoral drift which results in sand naturally moving from south to north. Littoral drift, when combined with man-made interferences with the coastline, has resulted in the gradual loss of sand from metropolitan beaches.

For many years, sand has been replenished on the coastline through collecting sand from northern metropolitan beaches and trucking it to southern beaches. Additional sand from external sources such as sand mines has also been used.

In 2013, the Weatherill Government’s much lauded sand pumping pipeline opened with the aim of replacing much of the sand trucking activity. The pipeline was under-engineered and over-spruiked, unable to transfer the volumes of sand needed to contend with increasing winter storms.

While the pipeline retains some value, by itself it is not up to the job needed.

THE STATE LIBERALS' PLAN

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will ensure coastal protection is a major priority of the South Australian Environment Department, recognising that management of our coast is a critical environmental, social and economic need.

A Liberal Government will invest more in protecting our precious coastline through:

  • Sand replenishment and retention initiatives
  • A research and development fund to investigate additional sand retention measures
  • Re-establishing seagrass meadows
  • Limiting harmful stormwater runoff
  • Creating three artificial reefs

An additional $5.2 million will be directed towards practical measures as well as important research and development, acknowledging that things must be done differently to sustain our coastal environment.

A Marshall Liberal Government will:

  1. Increase funding for sand replenishment on metropolitan beaches by $500,000 per annum for two years.
  2. Invest $1 million over two years in research and development associated with sand retention to reduce reliance on pumping and carting in the longer term. Expressions of interest will be called from organisations wishing to apply for funding to develop sand retention strategies at metropolitan beaches which will act as pilot sites. Federal funding will be sought to support this research and development.
  3. Invest $1 million in seagrass meadow restoration with the aim of rebuilding large seagrass meadows off the metropolitan coastline. Seagrasses limit the power of the ocean and mitigate the effects of storms. They also act as an important carbon sink and in the longer term can be used as a profitable carbon offset.
  4. Invest $1 million in the establishment and initial implementation of a Gulf St Vincent wetlands plan to map new wetlands and stormwater harvesting schemes to prevent damaging run-off filled with sediment and pollutants from entering the sea. The wetlands will be developed in partnership with local councils.
  5. Invest $1.2 million to establish three artificial reefs which will have environmental and economic benefits, including use as sand retention devices.

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