Aussie town's drastic plan to save beaches: 'It's intrusive'

The changes include adding permanent stone fixtures along the coastline.

Drastic plans are being considered for Perth's northern beaches to help combat the rising problem of erosion as beaches begin to "disappear", however, locals aren't convinced by the proposed plan.

One solution suggested by the City of Joondalup is to build stone groynes every 350 metres along the coastline. These structures, made of rocks, would extend from the beach into the ocean and would "create beach compartments" to provide shelter from wind and waves.

The council's drastic plans hope to combat erosion which has started along the northern beaches, like Iluka Beach which is pictured.
The council's drastic plans are being proposed to combat erosion which could result in beaches disappearing. Source: City of Joondalup

The proposed plan is being considered from Burns Beach to Marmion.

It is believed that every one centimetre rise in sea level will bring the water one metre further inland, with waterfront homes and other infrastructures at risk, with the rise in sea water credited to climate change.

Why are some locals unhappy by the proposed change?

Some residents have shared they are opposed to the plan because they believe the stone groynes will be an "eyesore", making the beaches less enjoyable.

The coastline can be seen with black areas labelled 'groynes' where the proposed rock structures would be situated.
The council has proposed building stone groynes to provide shelter from wind and waves which encourage erosion. Source: City of Joondalup

"[It] would definitely transform the coastline," local man Ben Allen told 9News Perth. "We're definitely not the first council or coastline in the world to deal with erosion, there's got to be other options. We don't need to put 17 groynes along our beaches."

Other less "intrusive" options are being considered by the council to protect the beaches against erosion, including 'beach nourishment', which involves placing extra sand along the beach to create a buffer or simply removing assets from hazardous areas, however, both are deemed less effective against warding off the rising water.

Mr Allen said the community would prefer to see artificial reefs built off-shore to lessen the impact of destructive waves.

Ben Allen can be seen standing in front of a group of unhappy residents on the beach.
Ben Allen is one of the local residents who is against the groynes being built along the coastline. Source: 9 News

While most beaches are impacted by erosion to some degree, most are eventually able to replenish displaced sand in a cyclic pattern.

“There are a few locations where that is not the case and you do see these long term trends, this chronic erosion,” Dr Mitchell Harley from UNSW’s Water Research Laboratory told Yahoo News Australia on Friday.

“Those particular cases are not necessarily related to any climate change effects, it’s a long-term starvation of sand basically. These natural cycles of sand transport and basically they’re losing more sand than they’re gaining in those areas.”

Starting next weekend, four information sessions will be held for residents. The plans will be released for public consultation before any decision is made, Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob said.

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.