Storm Erosion Safety Concerns at Ocean Beach

Published on Tuesday, 20 July 2021 at 12:49:47 PM

Erosion, strong rip currents and heavy swells have caused substantial damage and safety hazards at Ocean Beach with the Denmark Surf Life Saving Club (DSLSC) building now perilously close to the water.

Serious concerns have been raised about the integrity of the lookout, stairs, paths and foundations around the club building closest to the beach, with DSLSC representatives meeting on Friday with Shire of Denmark staff and Councillors to discuss the issue.

Short and long-term remedial actions were discussed at Friday’s meeting but public safety at the site was identified as the most pressing issue.

Over the weekend DSLSC members evacuated equipment from the surf club building before safety fencing was erected to prevent members of the public from accessing areas of the precinct which have now been deemed structurally unsafe.

“The last thing we want is for someone to be hurt,” Denmark Shire President Ceinwen Gearon said.

“Public safety is our number one priority.”

“We know our surfing community is eager to get out into the water to enjoy the favourable surfing conditions but we’re asking everyone to respect safety signage and fencing for their own safety."

"The water can still be accessed on foot via the boat launching area for those willing to brave the strong currents.”

Regarding the damage to infrastructure at Ocean Beach, Cr Gearon said the Shire will do what it can to help preserve the buildings for the benefit of the community.

“The surf club is important to the Shire and our community not just because of the public safety work the club does to look after beach-goers and the mentoring opportunities it affords to our youth, but also because of the role the club plays in our broader community and the historical significance of the buildings at Ocean Beach,” Cr Gearon said.

“We will work closely with the club to do what we can to preserve the infrastructure but unfortunately this isn’t the only infrastructure damage we are currently dealing with in Denmark so we’re thanking our community for their patience and understanding as we work through the long list of repair tasks.”

Plans are in place to invite Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson to Denmark to see the damage in person.

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