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Breakwater fails the economic test – badly

In its second year of operation East Gippsland Shire Council’s predicted boating and economic boom created by the Bastion Point breakwater has failed to materialise. Mallacoota residents performed boat counts at the old ramp every day in 2010 and at the new development every day during 2016, and rather than the 306% increase to 7,000 launches predicted by Council, there has actually been a 3% decline. In 2010 we counted 2285 commercial and recreational boat launches, whereas in 2016 this declined by 62 to 2223 launches.

During the EES Inquiry, Council pushed the proposition that the breakwater would even out tourism in Mallacoota, and in doing so would help businesses over the low season. Whilst February and March 2016 experienced higher boating numbers than in 2010 with the old ramp, the numbers were lower over April to September and overall for the year.

According to Council’s econBoats Bastion 2010 and 2016omic study by the Buchan Consulting Group, the development was meant to have attracted 7,000 boats every year from its first year of operation (2015). When Council was seeking permission to build, they were very keen to promote the economic credentials of the project, as predicted by Buchan. They predicted that the 7,000 boats would lead to 21 full time jobs in Mallacoota and 6 in the region (this didn’t include dredging and maintenance staff). At the time, Buchan’s methodology was highly contested, as nobody, including Council staff could explain how they arrived at their figures.

With the 2016 boating numbers failing the Buchan predictions badly, and in fact going backwards, it is difficult to see how any of the predicted jobs have been created. It seems the EES Inquiry Panel got it pretty right though, when they said “The economic case for the project is very weak and likely to have a benefit cost ratio well below 1.”

It’s a poor start to a development that Council hyped as being a huge money spinner for Mallacoota.


Breakwater Fails The Hype

Boat damage summer 2015

Three months into operation of the Bastion Point breakwater, it appears the Inquiry Panel described well the upshot of East Gippsland Shire Council’s development at Bastion Point. They forecast that there would be a modest increase in boating, mainly over summer months. Launching conditions at the ramp would be improved for boaters, but overall the safety […]

A beach and surfbreak lost for dodgy economics

The Bastion Point boat-ramp/breakwall, causeway road covering the beach, the jetty, navigational aids, lighting, large boat trailer/car park development and associated infrastructure are now complete, and the facility is expected to be operational from the 19th of December 2014. It is a sad ending for our campaign. We now have a permanent scar on the […]

Week 25 Destruction

The breakwater head which was formerly Broken Boards surf break

The weekend of 5 May 2014 saw huge seas pounding the unfinished breakwall, pulling rocks from the core. The photos put paid to the fallacy promolgated by East Gippsland Shire Council that there will be no breaking waves at the head of breakwater. The Independent Panel warned this could lead to loss of life when boats exit the […]

Week 15 and 16 Destruction

Day99 beachscape going

Weeks beginning 17 and 24 February saw the start of construction of the breakwall. Doubt remains as to the length of this wall – Council documentation states it is 130 m long, yet GPM Construction who are constructing the development state it is 150 m long – see here.

Week 14 Destruction

Day 92 dolphin protest

Week 14 beginning 10 February saw continued loss of beach and reef. See Australian Surfers Continue Push to Save Bastion Point, and letters to The Age.  See Destruction Gallery for progression of beach loss and photos below.

Week 12 and 13 Destruction

day 86 beach to industry

After 6 weeks of abated destruction, the big machines are back ruining Bastion Point. This destruction has received international attention – see Paradise Lost from Save the Waves Coalition. Meanwhile the Campaign has received an award from the Surfrider Foundation of Australia for its exceptional effort in support of Surfrider Foundation protecting waves and beaches – see […]

Burying a Beach and Buggering a SurfBreak

See the new YouTube clip that reveals how behind doors lobbying has circumvented public consultations and Government Inquiries and Reviews, to lead to the destruction of Bastion Point. Catch Bob Brown’s message on the authorised vandalism at Bastion Point here.

Week 6 Destruction

Day 34 Beach to rubble

The week beginning 16 December saw the complete loss of the beach to the headland, with it covered in rubble. See Destruction Gallery. It is yet to go around 0.5 m higher. This comes in a week when the Mayor wrote to a supporter saying “It is very dissappointing that the Save Bastion Point Campaign […]

Week 5 Destruction

Day 29 swell beyond breakwater

The week starting 9 December saw loss of almost all the beach to the promontory from which the breakwater will protrude, see Destruction Gallery. Heavy seas pounded the coast as shown in this Post’s photos, showing swell that boats exiting the so-called ‘safe ocean access’ will meet broadside as they exit the breakwater. Plumes of […]