A new policy launched by The Nationals WA will put the management of coastal erosion back on the agenda if they form government in 2021.
Leader Mia Davies said $50 million of Royalties for Region funding would be made available for regional local governments, coast care and other community groups to fund programs and initiatives to help manage Western Australia’s fragile coastline.
“A dozen iconic coastal hotspots in regional WA are at significant risk of coastal erosion and inundation if no action is taken in the next five years,” she said.
“The McGowan Government has failed to address this matter with any sense of urgency despite coastal erosion being a major issue for residents, communities and businesses in regional WA.”
Ms Davies announced the policy at Geraldton’s Drummond Cove, which has been significantly impacted by erosion and has been identified as a hotspot in urgent need of protection.
She said a State Government report on WA coastal erosion hotspots released in July 2019 showed the situation was particularly dire on the Turquoise and Mid West coasts.
Regional locations made up almost 75 per cent of the 55 coastal areas identified in the report as being of high management importance within the next 25 years.
“Instead of allocating money to assist communities growing increasingly desperate, the Premier keeps calling on the Commonwealth to come up with a solution,” Ms Davies said.
Deputy Leader and environment spokesperson Shane Love said many coastal hotspots required urgent attention.
“When in Government The Nationals reacted swiftly to coastal erosion concerns, allocating $2 million of Royalties for Regions to stop Seabird residents’ houses from falling into the ocean,” he said.
“We also allocated more than $17 million to address erosion issues at Beresford Foreshore in Geraldton.”
Mr Love said up until three weeks ago the McGowan Government only put $1.6 million on the table for coastal erosion management each year, which paled in comparison to what is required.
“They added another $5 million as a one off, but that’s a fraction of the $110 million the State Government itself estimates is needed to address this issue,” he said.
“The Nationals will also develop an agreed position between all tiers of government on funding and management responsibilities in relation to addressing coastal erosion and inundation across regional WA.”