Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis MP says a very welcome outcome from last week’s visit to the region by Minister for Environment David Speirs MP is today’s announcement of a new $1.35 million annual Regional Coast Protection Fund.
“This fund is an additional $1 million per year for four years to tackle coastal problems specifically in the regions and is a massive injection for coast protection.
“Throughout last week’s three-day visit, the Minister reassured all delegations we met with that regional problems will be receiving equal consideration by this government despite metropolitan coastal issues often getting the brightest media spotlight.
“The Marshall Liberal Government understands that protecting this State’s coastlines is a critical environmental, social and economic need whether you live in the city or the country, and this new funding targeted at regions is further testament to this important mantra – and is particularly exciting news for communities on Yorke Peninsula, Copper Coast and Port Broughton districts.”
Mr Ellis said there was real value in Minister Speirs seeing local coastal problems first-hand last week and hearing directly from the people being impacted.
“Having loudly advocated and regularly corresponded with Minister Speirs and his department over many months on a multitude of issues, the Minister was keen to visit to see for himself the environmental damage occurring in the Narungga electorate and what local communities are experiencing,” Mr Ellis said.
“His three-day tour included visiting problem sites at North Beach, Point Turton and Black Point where we had arranged for him to hear directly from local Mayors and CEOs and community members.
“Solutions were also discussed in detail and I am confident appropriate outcomes will result with Minister Speirs now armed with all relevant information.”
At North Beach at Wallaroo, a delegation of residents and Mayor Rosslyn Talbot and CEO Russell Peate spent an hour with the Minister, including walking with him along Otago Road showing the impact of the serious sand drift they have been experiencing which is affecting the daily lives of residents as well as local businesses and the vital tourism industry.
At Point Turton boat ramp, Yorke Peninsula Mayor Darren Braund, CEO Andrew Cameron, and township representatives discussed dredging requirements for rural coastal infrastructure and how to reduce red tape associated with management of silt sediment.
At Black Point, representatives from Black Point Progress Association and Council discussed the action taken so far to replenish eroded sand to protect the beach from further environmental damage, and the urgent need to rebuild the boat ramp to eliminate the groyne effect that is causing significant problems.
The Marshall Liberal Government last year increased funding for coastal management to help councils provide practical solutions, and now this substantial extra injection will ensure vital action can be taken on multiple projects requiring investment.