The coastline around Inverloch, Venus Bay and Anderson Inlet is a beautiful and dynamic part of the landscape. Natural processes such as winds, waves, tides, currents and catchment flows move sand and sediments, reshaping the coastline. These processes sometimes impact on places we value, and the way we use the coast.

The coastline at and around Inverloch has experienced significant erosion in recent years. Public assets, values and infrastructure are now at risk of damage and loss.

To proactively plan for managing future changes to the coastline, we’re delivering the Cape to Cape Resilience Project. This project combines the latest science, technical assessments and community aspirations to develop a long-term plan to manage important places, assets and other values in the future.

The Inverloch Regional and Strategic Partnership

Many agencies are responsible for managing coastal and marine areas. A Regional and Strategic Partnership (RaSP) brings these agencies together to respond to key issues. The Inverloch RaSP is the first RaSP established under the Marine and Coastal Act 2018, and has ten partners – Traditional Owners, the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, and nine agencies with responsibility for managing coastal land, assets and infrastructure in the Inverloch region.

The Inverloch RaSP will work with the community to address ongoing and future coastal erosion and inundation impacts. This includes delivering the Cape to Cape Resilience Project.

Cape Paterson to Cape Liptrap - the study area

The study area for the Cape to Cape Resilience Project is between Cape Paterson and Cape Liptrap. The area of interest includes:

  • The open coast from Cape Paterson along the coastal cliffs adjacent towards Inverloch
  • The open foreshore and surf beach at Inverloch
  • The dynamic estuaries and tidal mudflats of Anderson Inlet
  • The open coast and dunes of Venus Bay south to Cape Liptrap
  • Inland from the coastline, allowing for assessment of estuary and groundwater impacts.

Once we better understand our hazards and potential at-risk areas along our coastline, we can identify different ways to manage these locations through adaptation.

Map of the Cape to Cape Resilience Project study area

Inverloch Region Coastal Hazard Assessment

The Inverloch Region Coastal Hazard Assessment (CHA) is a core technical investigation that has been undertaken as part of the Cape to Cape Resilience Project. Informed by extensive analyses of the region’s geological formation, local conditions, and historic and recent changes along the Cape to Cape coastline, the project team developed various computer models to simulate conditions of the local coastal, estuarine and catchment areas.

These models assessed:

  • Storm-tide
  • Waves
  • Sediment transport
  • Shoreline response (erosion / accretion).

Looking at both present day conditions and predicted future changes, such as rising sea levels and changing wind and wave climates, the models have been used to examine how the coastline might change and respond.

The outcomes of this assessment will help us to better understand some of the complex processes impacting our coastline and surrounding areas. It will identify areas and assets that may be vulnerable to coastal hazards and changing climate conditions in the future.  This knowledge will help to inform the development of possible management or adaptation responses.

For more information about the CHA, check out these two presentations:

Hazard maps

Estimated as “coastal hazard extents”, mapping the CHA modelling results indicates areas along the Cape to Cape coastlines that may be exposed to inundation (flooding), erosion (sand loss) or sea level rise.

Many maps have been produced by the project team, showing combinations of the different hazard types, storm events and timeframes. This helps to highlight how hazards and exposure varies for each hazard type, storm events, climate conditions and over different timeframes. This spatial understanding informs our understanding of exposure, vulnerability and risk.

You can view the hazard maps below. Be sure to read the Hazard Map Information Sheet for more information about the maps and how they help us to plan for the future.

What do we mean when we talk about adaptation?

Adaptation can be defined as ‘the process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects’.

There are a range of actions that can be considered for mitigating coastal hazard risk and adapting to climate change. These may include actions associated with planning, capacity building, engineering, or other themes.

In considering options to mitigate coastal hazard risk, the Victorian Marine and Coastal Policy (2020) provides direction to respect natural coastal processes, apply an adaptation pathways approach, and to consider options in the following order:

OptionPolicy (2020)Adaptation planning considerations
Non-interventionAllow marine and coastal processes, and the hazards they may pose, to occur.Triggers (event, timing, other) would be identified for when additional action could commence.
AvoidLocate new uses, development and redevelopment away from areas that are or will be negatively impacted by coastal hazards.This option typically applies for all areas.
Nature-based methodsEnhancing or restoring natural features to mitigate coastal hazard risk.This may include dune nourishment, enabling landward migration of habitat, and potential hybrid nature-based approaches (e.g. living shorelines).
AccommodateStructures can be designed to reduce the exposure to, or decrease the impact of, coastal hazard risk, thus ‘accommodating’ the risk.This may include movable infrastructure (e.g. life-saving towers, stairs/ramps) flood resilient building design, resilient materials.
RetreatExisting structures, assets or uses may be decommissioned or relocated away from areas that are, or will be, negatively impacted by coastal hazards.This may apply locally or more broadly as part of the adaptation planning process.
ProtectExisting physical barriers are enhanced, or new ones constructed, to mitigate the impact of coastal hazards. Protect is an option of last resort; it is often expensive, its benefits tend to be very localised, and it frequently transfers the problem to nearby areas.This may include seawalls or other physical barriers/structures or interventions (groynes, breakwaters) that are likely to have significant impact on natural coastal processes.

Adaptation actions are not mutually exclusive, and often a suite of measures is required to effectively manage coastal hazard risk.

A pathways approach enables a range of actions to be identified, and their relative sequence, timing, and triggers for implementation from present day to longer-term (2100). The feasibility of actions may change over time, as conditions change, and adaptation pathways are regularly reviewed.

The Cape to Cape Region Coastal Hazard Assessment will help us to identify the range of suitable adaptation options for Inverloch, to inform our resilience and adaptation pathways planning.

Listening to the community

Speaking with our community is key to the Cape to Cape Resilience Project. Our stakeholder and community engagement is happening throughout the project and will be tailored to align with and inform key elements of the technical work.

A Stakeholder Reference Group has been established to support the Cape to Cape Resilience Project, bringing together people from our community, with a range of interest areas and backgrounds. This group will bring local knowledge and some community perspectives to the project and help to share project information with our broader community.

In addition to the Stakeholder Reference Group, we want to hear your views as well.

How to participate

Throughout April, we sought community feedback to further inform future planning and adaptation actions for the Inverloch and the broader Cape to Cape region. This feedback was collected via an online survey on Engage Victoria and several pop-up sessions around Inverloch.

Thank you to those who provided your feedback. We are now reviewing the responses and will report back to respondents in the coming weeks.

Email capetocape.project@delwp.vic.gov.au to receive regular progress updates and notifications of public meetings.

Community Values Study

The Community Values Study is a key initial study for the Cape to Cape Resilience Project. It provides a basis for better understanding the community’s values, priorities and perspectives in the context of adaptation and resilience planning for the coastal areas of the Cape to Cape region

Data that informed the Community Values Study came from an extensive engagement process between July and September 2021.

You can find the full details of this engagement in our Community Values Study, or a snapshot of the findings below:

Values and Experiences Survey (Snapshot) October 2021 (PDF, 718.0 KB)

Community Values Study December 2021 (PDF, 5.8 MB)

Project Frequently Asked Questions

The Cape to Cape Resilience Project is a coastal hazard adaptation project, overseen by the Inverloch RaSP. The project includes:

  • New research through a Coastal Hazard Assessment
  • Extensive community engagement
  • A coastal risk and vulnerability assessment, and
  • Coastal resilience planning.

In response to erosion currently being experienced along the Inverloch foreshore, coastal hazard adaptation options will initially focus on the 5 km of coastline from Flat Rocks to Screw Creek.

Working with the RaSP agencies, the project team will consider a range of adaptation options for this stretch of coastline. Development of possible options will be informed by the Inverloch Coastal Hazard Assessment, risk assessments, and community values and adaptation preferences.

Using tailored objectives and criteria, we will shortlist options to examine further. Criteria will include community values, environmental impacts, costs, performance and effectiveness, and amenity (including impacts on access and aesthetics). Importantly, the order of consideration for options must also align with the directions for managing coastal hazard risk as outlined in the Victorian Marine and Coastal Policy (2020).

A detailed analysis for the shortlisted options will draw on modelling, economics, and strategic planning to determine actions for Flat Rocks to Screw Creek, and also inform adaptation planning for the broader Cape to Cape coastline and communities.

Computer models will be used to test the performance and suitability of different adaptation options (interventions) under different scenarios. Up to five adaptation interventions will be modelled to determine how effective they are in mitigating hazard risk and to consider potential impacts on surrounding areas.

We will assess options for both present-day and future conditions to ensure they are appropriate in now, and how long they will be effective for in the future. Short, medium and long term actions can then be included in the adaptation planning process.

While we plan, develop and design adaptation solutions, the Inverloch Coastal Protection Interagency Working Group continue to actively monitor the coastline to determine if further short-term, rapid response / management measures are required.

The project provides many different and exciting opportunities for the community and stakeholders to be involved.

Using range of in-person and online activities and events, we will be looking to share key information from the project. We are also keen to gather your insights into what you value about the coast from Cape Paterson to Cape Liptrap, and your perspectives on adaptation and resilience.

We will be providing regular updates and factsheets to keep you informed about the project.

The study area for the Cape to Cape Resilience Project is between Cape Paterson and Cape Liptrap on the Bass Coast, Gippsland.

The area of interest includes:

  • The open coast from Cape Paterson along the coastal cliffs adjacent towards Inverloch
  • The open foreshore and surf beach at Inverloch
  • The dynamic estuaries and tidal mudflats of Anderson Inlet
  • The open coast and dunes of Venus Bay south to Cape Liptrap
  • Inland from the coastline, allowing for assessment of estuary and groundwater impacts.

There will be a range of project outputs, including:

  • The Inverloch Region Coastal Hazard Assessment (CHA)
  • A Community Values Study
  • Coastal risk and vulnerability assessment
  • The Cape to Cape Coastal Resilience Plan

The expected outcomes of the Cape to Cape Resilience Project include:

  • Identification of coastal hazards from Cape Paterson to Cape Liptrap and the extent of potential impact
  • Inundation, erosion and groundwater data and hazard mapping for the region
  • Stakeholders have up-to-date information to inform planning decisions and management of assets
  • Community values influence the direction of the research, management strategies and resilience planning.
  • Community understanding of local coastal hazards and management strategies

Natural coastal processes like wind, waves, tides and currents work to shift sediment and shape the coastline. When these processes negatively impact on use of the coast, they become coastal hazards. These impacts could be environmental, social, cultural or economic impacts. Coastal hazards include coastal erosion and inundation.

The Coastal Hazard Assessment will consider:

  • Wind and wave conditions
  • Sediment transport
  • Coastal erosion,
  • Permanent and temporary inundation (coastal and flooding), and
  • Changes in groundwater
  • Multiple sea level rise scenarios for storm and rainfall impacts will be modelled. Proposed scenarios are 0.2 m, 0.5 m, 0.8 m, 1.1 m and 1.4 m of sea level rise.

This new research will:

  • Assess present day conditions,
  • Calibrate models against historic events, and
  • Predict conditions for the future.

We’ll also look at different magnitudes of coastal storm events and potential changes in wind and wave direction.

Water Technology will undertake the Coastal Hazard Assessment and technical investigations.

The South Gippsland Conservation Society has been working on the Inverloch Coastal Resilience Project (ICRP) since 2018. The project aims to analyse the extent of coastline recession at Inverloch, the factors contributing to the changes, the ecological, geomorphological, Aboriginal cultural heritage and economic values. In August 2019 the first significant output of this project was produced:  the Inverloch Coastal Resilience Project Report (August 2019). The SGCS is continuing to work in collaboration with the Victorian Coastal Monitoring Program, DELWP, Bass Coast Shire Council and Parks Victoria for its project. More information about the ICRP and project reports can be found here: www.sgcs.org.au.

The Inverloch coast is also the subject of various research activities through the Victorian Coastal Monitoring Program (VCMP).

The Cape to Cape Resilience Project will build on this work. One of the first tasks of the project is to review this previous work and understand where there are knowledge gaps.

The Inverloch Coastal Protection Interagency Working Group actively monitor the coastline and the condition of recent coastal protection works. If further short-term protection is necessary, the working group will decide together and seek funding for implementation.

Resilience is the capacity of systems to cope with or ‘bounce back’ following a hazardous event or disturbance. This includes social, economic and environmental systems. Resilience means responding or reorganising to maintain essential functions, identities and structures, while maintaining the capacity to adapt and transform.

Adaptation is defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as ‘the process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects’. The definition differentiates between human and natural systems. In human systems, adaptation seeks to moderate or avoid harm or exploit beneficial opportunities. In some natural systems, human intervention may facilitate adjustment.

Regional and Strategic Partnerships (RaSP) are a new tool under the Marine and Coastal Act 2018. RaSPs bring stakeholders together on regionally significant issues. The Inverloch RaSP is the first created under the new Act, gazetted on 6 August 2020.

The RaSP brings together Traditional Owners and nine agencies. They each have a role in managing coastal and foreshore values, assets and infrastructure around Inverloch. They commit to working together to respond to coastal hazards facing the Inverloch community now and into the future.

Find out more about the Marine and Coastal Act 2018.

The Inverloch RaSP has representatives from the following agencies and entities:

  • Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (BLCAC)
  • Bass Coast Shire Council (BCSC)
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) (lead agency)
  • Department of Transport (DOT)
  • Gippsland Ports
  • Heritage Victoria
  • Parks Victoria (PV)
  • South Gippsland Shire Council (SGSC)
  • South Gippsland Water (SGW); and
  • West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (WGCMA).

The Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG) is an independent group that will support the Cape to Cape Resilience Project. The group includes invited stakeholders and community members selected through expressions of interest. The SRG will ensure representation of community views and needs. They will assist two-way information flow and communication between DELWP, the RaSP and the community.

Alluvium Consulting will facilitate SRG meetings. For a list of the SRG members please see the May 2021 project update (PDF, 868.4 KB).

The Inverloch Coastal Protection Interagency Working Group is separate to the RaSP. The Interagency Working Group consists of representatives from:

  • DELWP
  • Bass Coast Shire Council
  • Parks Victoria
  • Regional Roads Victoria
  • West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority

The group focuses on addressing current erosion at Inverloch and developing a short-term erosion control plan for key areas around Inverloch. The RaSP will focus on longer-term adaptation over the wider Cape Paterson to Cape Liptrap coastal area.

Wreck Creek Frequently Asked Questions

Wreck Creek is a small intermittently closing and opening coastal lagoon located on the western edge of Inverloch. The lagoon is separated from the ocean by a sandy beach berm that forms and breaks down depending on the redistribution of sand and sediments by waves, tides, flood flows and winds.The coastal lagoon opens and closes to the ocean naturally in a constant but irregular cycle - based on catchment flows which work to scour out the entrance, and coastal processes (tides, waves and winds) which work to close the entrance.

When water levels rise in Wreck Creek following rainfall, this can lead to flooding of adjacent private and public properties and infrastructure adjacent to the lagoon foreshore. The land around the western end of Surf Parade is subject to an existing flood risk which is identified by the inundation overlay under the Bass Coast Planning Scheme. To minimise this possible flooding, Bass Coast Shire Council, West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, and Parks Victoria work together to ensure that any manual (i.e. artificial) opening of the eastern branch of the creek that flows under Surf Parade is performed safely. The procedure for this involves monitoring the creek for water level, sand berm height and water quality.Since the new entrance mouth has opened further west along the beach, these openings have not been required for the last 15 months. This is because the creek has been able to open naturally following any significant rainfall event. However, if a manual opening is required, WGCMA is the authority that will inform when this can occur safely(e.g. prevent a fish kill) and PV will perform the opening. Manual openings are performed to reduce the risk of flooding to nearby houses, however opening the entrance does not eliminate the risk of flooding and adjoining private land may be flooded even if the entrance is open due to rainfall and coastal influences.In the event of potential flooding, Bass Coast Shire Council will enact its emergency management procedures as documented in the Municipal Emergency Management Plan.

Several agencies have responsibility over Wreck Creek and the surrounding land, including the Bass Coast Shire Council, West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, Parks Victoria and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. These agencies work in partnership to manage the area including the risk associated with flooding. West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority and Parks Victoria regularly monitor Wreck Creek and undertake investigative work relating to the creek mouth and catchment.

Yes, Bunurong Road is at risk of flooding from rainfall within the catchment and from storm surges especially as sea levels rise.

These risks have not been fully analysed yet. The technical work being done as part of the local coastal hazard assessment for Inverloch will look at these risks and provide the community and agencies with a much better understanding of the risks and what can be done to minimise these risks.

Partner agencies monitor water levels at Wreck Creek and the prevailing weather conditions. If conditions reach a point where an artificial opening is likely to reduce the risk of flooding, the agreed procedures will be enacted, and the entrance opened. However, the opening of the entrance artificially will not eliminate the risk entirely, and flooding to adjoining private property could still occur.

There is potential to expose more remains of Amazon shipwreck if the mouth is artificially opened. Heritage Victoria is aware of this and Parks Victoria has notification arrangements and a permit to undertake necessary management work.

If you would like to assist with monitoring water levels at the creek, there is a Fluker post located near the Eastern branch where you can send your photos directly to these agencies. A second Fluker post may be installed on the Western branch to allow members of the public to send photos of this section of Wreck Creek, we will keep you informed.

Project updates and factsheets

Project updates

Factsheets

Inverloch Region Coastal Hazard Assessment

  • Geomorphology Technical Note (Word)

Latest Gippsland Coastal Protection Update

Page last updated: 16/05/22