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.

Map of Cape to Cape Resilience Project study area

Understanding coastal hazards

Various technical investigations will help inform the project including a regional Coastal Hazard Assessment. This assessment will look at the geological formation, historic and recent changes on the coast and model the potential impact of predicted future changes, including rising sea levels and changing wind and wave climates. Coastal hazards to be assessed will include erosion (sand loss) and inundation (flooding).  Possible impacts of changing coastal conditions on the surrounding catchments and groundwater systems will also be examined.

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.

A strategic approach to adaptation

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

Management actions that will help us adapt to current and future coastal hazards will be informed by community views and preferences. We will initially focus on developing management options for the Inverloch foreshore because that is where the significant impacts of erosion on coastal land have been occurring. Feasibility studies will be undertaken for key management options.

Listening to the community

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

Community consultation is a key input to the Cape to Cape Resilience Project. Stakeholder and community engagement will be happening throughout the project and will be tailored to align with and inform key elements of the technical work.

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

Values and experiences survey findings

From late July to early September, we invited people who live in or visit Inverloch, Venus Bay and nearby communities to share their local coastal values and experiences of coastal hazards, such as erosion. This update provides a snapshot of what we heard, greater detail will be shown in the Community Values Study.

Cape to Cape Resilience Project  Stage 1 Engagement Findings October 2021

We’ve heard perspectives from many people, and we thank everyone who contributed to the activities.

Stage 2 engagement will focus on risk and vulnerability, and will commence in the coming months.

Virtual community sessions

Back in August we held two virtual community sessions for the Cape to Cape Resilience Project. We had a great turnout, with almost 50 people dialing in across the two sessions.

For those who joined us, hopefully you came away with some further appreciation of the project.

Below is a recording of the presentations for any of those who missed the sessions, or would like to watch back.

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.

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.

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.

Page last updated: 26/10/21