Southend, a picturesque coastal town located on South Australia’s Limestone Coast, is grappling with a growing environmental crisis. The town’s beaches, once a major attraction for tourists and locals alike, are eroding at an alarming rate.
The strong winds and waves from the Southern Ocean are relentlessly eating away at the sandy shores, posing a significant threat to the local economy and infrastructure.
The Southend Tourist Park, a popular destination for tourists, is feeling the brunt of this erosion. Managed by Claire and Jack Hubbard, the park has witnessed about three meters of its beachfront disappear this year alone.
This rapid erosion has brought the park perilously close to a steep drop-off, raising concerns about its future viability and the safety of its visitors.
Local authorities are not sitting idle. The Wattle Range Council, responsible for Southend, is actively seeking solutions to combat this environmental challenge. At its most recent meeting, the council decided to approach the South Australian government for additional funding to address the erosion.
Various measures, including building a stone barrier and importing sand from Adelaide’s West Beach, are being considered, according to a report by MSN.
The economic implications of this erosion are profound. Southend, like many coastal towns, relies heavily on tourism. The erosion could deter tourists, impacting local businesses and the broader community.
“We know Southend has the potential to do great things and hold lots of tourists for a long time to come. But if we don’t have the land there, we can’t do anything about it,” said Claire Hubbard, expressing her concerns.
The situation is dire, with the main beach of Southend already closed since autumn due to erosion concerns. The future of tourism in Southend hangs in the balance, with urgent measures needed to address the erosion. Local councils, businesses, and the community are coming together to find solutions, but the challenges are immense.
Mayor Des Noll of the Wattle Range Council summed up the situation aptly, “As you can appreciate, we’re fighting the environment. We’ve done a lot of work there previously, but we get storm surges and then all that work washes away.”
The battle against nature is ongoing, but the resilient spirit of the Southend community shines through as they work together to protect their town and its future.