Labor lost at sea on long-term sand solution

Labor lost at sea on long-term sand solution

Posted on: 28 July 2023

The future of beaches in Adelaide’s western suburbs are under threat because of the complete mismanagement of coastal protection by the Malinauskas Labor Government.

The Opposition is calling on Peter Malinauskas and Susan Close to pump the brakes on new plans to mine sand from the Torrens Outlet in order to replenish beaches at Henley Beach and Henley Beach South, with fears it will only exacerbate sand erosion at West Beach.

Trucks are preparing to roll in to the Outlet from next week to start collecting 20,000 cubic metres of sand to cart it further north, but community groups and the local council are also calling for the works to be halted until the delayed Adelaide Beach Management Review is completed.

Sand on Adelaide’s coastline naturally drifts from south to north which requires ongoing maintenance. The former Liberal Government had a fully-funded and designed long-term solution which Labor scrapped when they came to office. 

Instead of mining sand from the Torrens Outlet in the short term, the Opposition is urging Labor to cart sand from where it naturally builds up at Semaphore or explore additional quarry sand as an alternative.

Member for Colton, Matt Cowdrey, said Peter Malinauskas and Susan Close need to stop hiding behind reviews and delays and come up with a long-term plan to save our beaches.

“The former Liberal Government had a long-term solution to this problem – which was developed in consultation with independent experts – but Labor cancelled it with no replacement,” Mr Cowdrey said.

“Labor’s band-aid fixes can only work for so long, and we’re concerned these latest plans are just robbing Peter to pay Paul, causing further damage to our beaches.

“If Peter Malinauskas and Susan Close hadn’t axed our solution, and then kicked the can down the road with a review, we would likely have a sand recycling pipeline between Semaphore and West Beach in place by now.

“Sadly, Labor appears content to just watch our beaches wash away with the tide before our eyes.”

Shadow Assistant Minister for Environment and Heritage, Jack Batty, said the Opposition has been calling on the Malinauskas Labor Government to provide a long-term solution for over a year now and they need to step up protect our coastlines responsibly.

“We believe Labor’s lengthy review will reveal what we already know – that a sand recycling pipeline is the best long-term solution to this problem and they’ve just been wasting precious time,” Mr Batty said.

“We understand sand carting has played an important role in replenishing our coastlines, but given the sorry state of our central beaches Labor must look for alternatives beyond mining the Torrens Outlet.

“Instead of sticking their heads in the sand, the Malinauskas Labor Government must find sustainable solutions that will safeguard our shores for generations to come.”