INCREASING popularity and ongoing public use of the Waratah Bay foreshore area has led to the need for an update of the management plan prepared for the area in 1998.
As a result, the Waratah Bay Strategic Foreshore Management Plan 2014 was prepared. It was presented to South Gippsland Shire Council last Wednesday by Paul Ahern, representing the Waratah Bay Community Association (WBCA).
The plan was prepared with input from the WBCA, user groups, the Committee of Management and the landowners. Council acting as the Committee of Management to the (newly named) Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning manages the Crown land foreshore reserve in Waratah Bay and the accompanying freehold title reserves.
The detailed (80pp) plan, prepared by Andrew Nixon Land Use Management, is intended to provide a strategic management tool for the future use of the area. Among the issues it addresses are: the impact of rabbits on dune vegetation and stability; town stormwater drainage; reserve infrastructure; views; multiple user group activities; beach access; dune, fire, weed and vegetation management; revegetation requirements; and the appropriate assignment of management responsibilities in the respective reserves.
It concludes with a prioritised list of tasks. Paul Ahern said that while he realises funding for much of the major work is not likely to be available for three or four years, there are lots of willing volunteers from among the Waratah community who would be prepared to help with tasks such as replanting and weed eradication.
“We’re an enthusiastic bunch of volunteers. You should take advantage of us while you’ve got us!” he urged Council.