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Quarry sand to replenish West Beach

The move is part of the South Australian Government’s historic $48.4 million ‘Securing the Future of our Coastline project’ put into place to protect Adelaide’s metropolitan beaches.

Photo: West Beach Parks.

Western suburbs residents will have better access to the beach by the end of 2021, with around 250,000 cubic metres of sand to be sourced from land-based quarries to help rebuild West Beach after decades of devastating erosion.

The move is part of the South Australian Government’s historic $48.4 million ‘Securing the Future of our Coastline project’ put into place to protect Adelaide’s metropolitan beaches.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said this mass replenishment at West Beach is the first major step to delivering 500,000 cubic metres of sand from an external source as well as a long-term solution to saving West Beach.

“Adelaide’s coastline is one connected system, but some of our beaches such as West Beach are experiencing significant erosion,” Minister Speirs said.

“Starting in July, we will deliver around 250,000 cubic metres of sand to West Beach from quarries which will bring back the beach in time for summer later this year.

“This is one of the most significant sand replenishment actions ever, and will provide an environmental, social and economic boost for the western suburbs.

“We will continue to explore options for the other 250,000 cubic metres to be delivered in the first half of 2022, as well as start construction of a sand pumping pipeline to secure the future of West Beach for the long-term – something the local community has been crying out for for years.

“This mass replenishment of sand will complement the autumn sand carting which occurs between Adelaide’s northern beaches and West Beach.

“The sand along Adelaide’s coast is naturally moved northward by the wind and waves.

Minister Speirs said the decision to use quarry sand was made because it is readily available and does not have the potential environmental risks associated with dredging sand from offshore sources.

“Investigations undertaken in 2020 found that offshore sand deposits at Port Stanvac were not a viable source of sand for beach replenishment.

“It’s too fine, and the silt and clay content is too high. The environmental risk during dredging is also just too high.

“A successful trial was conducted at West Beach in December 2020 which demonstrated that commercial quarries are a viable source of high-quality external sand with low environmental risks.”

Member for Colton Matt Cowdrey said he is proud to be part of a government which is delivering real outcomes for people in the western suburbs.

“People in the West Beach area have watched on helplessly as they’ve seen their beach disappear from right in front of them,” Mr Cowdrey said.

“To be able to bring in such a significant amount of sand in time for summer will be a huge boost for the community who haven’t had a proper beach to use for years.

“The mass sand replenishment along with the sand pumping pipeline will fix the problem once and for all and deliver a much-needed long-term solution.”

 President of the West Beach Surf Life Saving Club Peter Zuill welcomes the government’s plan to deliver new sand to the beach.

“The beach at the surf club has been eroded over time and the clubhouse, coast park and car park rely on a seawall for protection,” Mr Zuill said.

The quarry sand is likely to be delivered from July this year and Minister Speirs said that the State Government will continue to work with local residents to guide delivery of the Securing the Future of our Coastline project.

“We acknowledge the trucking can cause a disruption for local residents, however by doing the hard work now during the colder months, we can ensure there’s sandy beaches ready for the whole community to enjoy come summertime.

For more information on the Securing the Future For more information on the Securing the Future of our Coastline project, visit the site here.

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