Portsea beach disappearing fast

Portsea beach continues to disappear at an alarming rate – in spite of generally benign weather conditions. 
1st June 2010
Back in 2006, PoMC said any tide changes resulting from channel deepening would be less than 1 centimetre. They also said any changes to storm surges would be “imperceptible and uniform”. Now the Brumby government appointed Office of Environmental Monitor tells us that any changes to Portsea beach and pier over the last year are a result of unusual weather patterns and nothing to do with the enlarged Entrance.
But - locals are adamant that there have been no “unusual weather patterns”. What has changed in the last year or so, they say, is the size of the swell (surge from Bass Strait) which now even in fair weather can surge over the low landing at the pier, and deliver thumping waves onto the beach throughout the flood tide cycle (12 hours of every day). It makes sense that now the Entrance has been enlarged, whenever there is significant swell in Bass Strait, (often up to 8 metre swells) the force of that swell will now be able to move further into the Bay.

Calm day, big swell, no beach, Portsea.

Pic. K. Graddy April 30th 2010

According to local media reports, Nippers have abandoned activities at Portsea as the beach is now judged unsafe by organisers. A local business using the beach for boat storage has had to move elsewhere.     
Three weeks ago the foundations of Portsea pier and its bitumen forecourt sustained massive damage with large blowholes appearing – deep enough for a wheelie bin to be sucked into.  

Where's your Wheelie bin? Wheelie big holes Portsea Pier April 30th 2010

Pics. K. Graddy

This week, work has started on installation of a 90 tonne sand sausage at the pier.  Nice look guys! But -we actually preferred our beach the way it used to be. And – how long do you really think a sausage of sand will hold back the sea?       
It’s time for some independent analysis of not just what is happening at Portsea and many other southern Bay coastlines, but WHY. Then we need long term plans to deal with the cause of this dramatic and sudden loss of coastline. And by “independent” we mean an agency capable of giving objective advice, not cloaked in the government funded spin that has surrounded the channel deepening project for so long.
We can’t put back the rocks at The Heads, so Mr. Brumby, what is Plan B? How much will it cost and who will pay?

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