Homes at one of Geraldton’s most iconic locations are under threat, after the City of Greater Geraldton is considering the future of the 176 residences when the leases expire in 2028, at Point Moore’s historic beach cottage community.
In 2007 the WA Planning Commission deemed the area ‘unsuitable for permanent human habitation’ due to the risk of a severe inundation event impacting on human life.
This information only came to light for residents when 35 leases were renewed in 2014, prompting the Council to extend the leases for only 14 years instead of 21 years as always previously granted.
The Council commissioned independent consultants, M P Rogers and Associates, to undertake a Coastal Inundation Study of the Point Moore area to get a better understanding of coastal processes, including risks of erosion and inundation to the area.
On Wednesday 13 January 2016, the report: Point Moore Inundation and Coastal Processes Study, was presented to a meeting of Point Moore stakeholders; including the Friends of Point Moore Inc committee and members – an action group set up for members to work towards saving their homes – and representatives from the broader community.
The City invited feedback and comments by written submissions from all stakeholders and the broader community on the content and findings of the report.
Chairman of the Friends of Point Moore Inc, David Harrington, said the beach cottages have existed for more than 50 years, and many people would have fond memories of time spent either visiting or living there.
“We are hoping these people and others would be supportive of retaining this piece of Geraldton’s history. Now is the chance to help us save an iconic part of Geraldton – and our homes – by sending a submission on the inundation study to the City,” he said.
“The consultant told us the report didn’t represent a prediction for the future but just models for one potential – one in 500 year – event.”
Mr Harrington said mitigation strategies such as building up the sand dunes and planting vegetation was just one way to offset the possible threat of inundation.
“There are ways to address the perceived problem, and let’s face it, the cottages have survived for 50 years without incident when other parts of Geraldton have been inundated,” he said.
“However, we are working with the City Council to find a solution and would appreciate help from those who have good memories of the area; they may be your memories, but they are our homes!”
The City invites feedback and comments from stakeholders and broader community members on the content and findings of the report that is on the City’s website: http://www.cgg.wa.gov.au/consultations/
“Please help us save Point Moore beach cottages by sending a submission to the City of Greater Geraldton by 4pm on Wednesday 24 February 2016,” said Mr Harrington.