Coastal Erosion in South Australia

14 Oct 2019 speech

My electorate of Boothby is home to one of South Australia's best stretches of coastline, particularly in Adelaide. From North Glenelg to Marino, I am fortunate to represent such a beautiful part of the world and the dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain and care for our beaches, our native vegetation and our coastline.

Coastal erosion is an issue in South Australia—thankfully not so much within my electorate—and we also have other challenges along our coasts, including pollution, particularly plastics, and the impacts of a changing climate. We've seen the issue of coastal erosion most seriously in South Australia from Semaphore to West Beach, which is just outside my electorate. The beaches in the southern part of Adelaide's coastline, from Glenelg to Kingston Park, are generally very stable because of successful beach management which has been undertaken by our local and state governments, who bear responsibility for this issue. An existing sand-pumping system along this part of the coast uses pumping stations and underground pipelines to transfer a slurry of sand and seawater from beaches where sand is building up to beaches where sand is eroding. The pipeline currently pumps approximately 100,000 cubic metres of sand successfully every year. As I said, responsibility for this policy issue and for this area falls to our local and state governments, and I would like to acknowledge the work of my local councils who take in the beach-side parts of my electorate—particularly the City of Holdfast Bay and the City of Marion—for their work to protect our local beaches, whether it is sand, sand dunes or our native vegetation.

South Australia's Marshall Liberal government has also committed to protecting our coastline, and I would particularly like to recognise and thank my state colleague Minister David Speirs, who is the Minister for Environment and Water and whose electorate falls mainly within my electorate of Boothby, for the wonderful work that he is doing in his environment portfolio. David is very passionate about looking after our natural environment, especially our coastline, which we share together. The Marshall Liberal government is investing $48.4 million in the metropolitan coastline over the next four years. This consists of $20 million for additional sand, including approximately 500,000 cubic metres of newly sourced sand. This investment also includes $28.4 million for the completion of a new sand-recycling pipeline from Semaphore to West Beach, similar to the one that operates between Glenelg and Kingston Park, as well as sand dune restoration and revegetation, in partnership with local councils and coastal community groups.

The Morrison Liberal government is doing a range of things in the environmental area to look after our waters, our coastal waters and our oceans. We're restoring coastal environments. We're dealing with the problem of plastics and waste along our coastlines and in our oceans. Our Environment Restoration Fund totals $100 million and includes a $16 million investment in our rivers, waterways and coasts to help clean up these habitats and improve water quality.

I feel I should pay tribute to my incredible local volunteers who do operate along the coastline, given that over the weekend it was the opening of the surf lifesaving season and these wonderful volunteers will be working very hard over the coming months to keep everyone safe on the beach. I would like to acknowledge President Georgina Cole, who looks after the Glenelg Surf Life Saving Club; President Warwick Holland, who looks after Somerton Surf Life Saving Club; President Chris Parsons of the Brighton Surf Life Saving Club; and Dr Glen Patten OAM of the Seacliff Surf Live Saving Club.

It was also over the course of the weekend the season opening for my yacht clubs, and we had our very first female commodore, Lisa Brock, elected to the Brighton and Seacliff Yacht Club. I want to again congratulate Lisa, whom I saw on Saturday. It is also the 100th anniversary of the Brighton and Seacliff Yacht Club this year. I attended the Somerton Yacht Club opening day, and it was wonderful the see new Commodore Paul Townsend presiding over his first season opening. Finally, I will recognise David Bagshaw, who runs 5049 Coastal Community, who do so much wonderful environmental work around the Marino and Seacliff area.