Western Australia’s coastline stretches for more than 20,000km and is home to approximately 80% of our population, as well as being where roughly 80% of our tourism activity occurs.
Our coastline is a diverse, dynamic and often fragile environment that is exposed to a number of threats and pressures. Erosion, rising sea levels, population growth, commercial and recreational activity and industrial and residential development – individually and combined – elicit the need for an innovative, integrated approach to management of one of our most valuable and beautiful natural assets.
The Nationals WA will invest significantly in the ongoing protection of our coast against erosion and inundation.
While the majority of the WA coast is sparsely settled or uninhabited, the South West, regional cities and Perth metropolitan area are densely populated. Not only an attractive place to live, the coast provides locations for ports and other infrastructure, industry development and a variety of recreational activities.
A report commissioned by State Government and published in July 2019 identified 55 locations, 40 of which are in regional WA, where coastal erosion is expected to impact on public and private assets and require management and adaptation action within 25 years.
To date, the Labor Government has funded coastal erosion management to the tune of $1.6m per year across three grants programs to assist local governments or community groups to fund programs and initiatives to help manage our coast.
In August 2020, the State Government announced $6.76 million in new funding to address four major coastal hotspots, plus 28 others. This funding commitment falls substantially short of the $110 million the State Government estimated was required back in August 2019 to address these coastal erosion hotspots.
1. Provide $50 million of Royalties for Regions funding over five years to regional local governments, coast care or other community groups to fund programs and initiatives to help manage the coast in regional WA.
2. As a matter of urgency, develop an agreed position with Federal and local government on providing funding to address the identified priority coastal erosion hotspots across WA.
The Nationals WA invite feedback on this policy discussion paper.