THE LAST BASTION
This is one of surfing’s last bastions, literally, in more ways than one. Mallacoota, on the far eastern corner of Victoria is a surfing outpost surrounded by Croajingolong National Park and the Cape Howe and Point Hicks Marine National Parks. To say it is a majestic, pristine natural environment would be an understatement. As with many small towns dotted along our coastline, the surfers here are passionate, hardcore and committed. When plans first arose over a generation ago to mess with Mallacoota’s class break by building a 130m breakwall smack bang in the middle of it, there was an outcry amongst local surfers and members of the community.
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Those in favour argue recreational and professional fisherman and abalone divers require safe ocean access. The proposed council plan would provide 90% usability, which could possibly be described as overkill. Anyone familiar with this stretch of coast would know it lives up to its reputation as the Wilderness Coast. Perhaps greater dangers lie beyond a boat’s initial launch site when weather conditions are far from favourable – nature’s way of saying “Don’t go, Joe?” The alternative is to upgrade the existing boat ramp to meet Australian Standards for marine safety, at around a third of the council’s proposed project, retain the local beach, rockpools and native vegetation and allow surfing to continue at Bastion Point. Sounds like a pretty convincing argument. The future of Bastion Point lies in the balance with a government decision expected to be handed down prior to Christmas.
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Basically the proposed project, which won initial local and state government approval, entailed not only a rockwall but a causeway road on the beach leading to a new boat ramp, massive ongoing dredging and maintenance costs and what has been described by those opposed as a dubious economic case.
To find out more about this issue go to the East Gippsland Shire Council site at www.egipps.vic.gov.au and www.savebastionpoint.org, where you can also lodge your objection to the proposed development.
8/11/11 4:20 AM
Published on Nov 16, 2011
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