Labor Must Reveal Plan to Save West Beach

Labor Must Reveal Plan to Save West Beach

Posted on: 06 May 2022

The Malinauskas Labor Government must reveal what its long-term plan to manage sand on Adelaide’s coastline is or it risks seeing West Beach disappear again, just like it did when they were last in government.

Adelaide’s coastline has experienced the biggest tides of the year this week – more than 2.5m - which is putting extra pressure on sand levels at metropolitan beaches. Last month Labor cancelled the former Liberal Government’s sand pumping pipeline project which would have secured West Beach’s future for good.

Since then, Environment Minister Susan Close has failed to provide South Australians with an alternative long-term plan – instead simply reverting to the old practice of using dirty diesel trucks to cart sand up and down our beaches.

Opposition Leader David Speirs said South Australians and residents of West Beach in particular, deserve answers from the new government on what their plan for Adelaide’s coastline actually is.

“Peter Malinauskas and the Labor Party said they had a plan for the future, but as we’ve seen throughout this week they’ve been stuck in the past,” Mr Speirs said.

“West Beach is no different where instead of delivering a long-term sustainable solution to erosion, they’ve cancelled a project at significant cost to taxpayers and the only alternative solution I’ve heard so far is returning to the decades-old practice of dirty diesel trucks up and down our beaches and coastal streets.

“This won’t deliver the amount of sand required to sustain West Beach and unfortunately if the new government doesn’t act quickly, we could see the beach disappear again just as it did when they were last in government.

“Susan Close, who lives less than 100 metres from a different northern beach, is inexplicably putting the beach where she lives ahead of the needs of the rest of the coastline. There’s been plenty of talk about conflicts of interest this week, I wonder if she excused herself from this decision-making process?”

“Our plan was actually based on a previous Labor Government’s successful pipeline between Kingston Park and Glenelg which showed our willingness to put outcomes ahead of politics.

Member for Colton and Shadow Treasurer Matt Cowdrey said the community he represents have been left devastated by the Malinauskas Labor Government’s decision to cancel the sand pumping project.

“After decades of inaction and countless scientific studies the people of South Australia finally had a long-term sustainable plan to save West Beach,” Mr Cowdrey said.

“The former Liberal Government had spent four years building sand levels back up at West Beach and this past summer there was actually a beach in front of the Surf Life Saving Club for the first time in years.

“When Labor was last in power sand volumes at West Beach dropped to their lowest levels on record and local residents are worried that history will repeat itself.

“Importantly our project was funded from the Solid Waste Levy which we quarantined for funding towards environmental projects. Will Labor return this funding or simply use it to prop up its budget which we all know they will blow?”