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March 2018

Groyne Reconfiguration Stalled

Residents are calling on the City of Busselton to help them to get the DoT to work with nature and provide a safe and usable Port Geographe Western Beach amenity and implement a winter / spring seagrass wrack works program. The DoT must realise that intervention will be required until the Western Beach has saturated sufficiently with sand. It appears the whole Groyne Reconfiguration outcome has stalled as the DoT has not implemented a winter / spring seagrass wrack works program.

The solution to the trapping of seagrass wrack is not difficult to resolved but the DoT has walked away and modified the EMMP so they can not be held liable. All that is needed is during the months of August / September and October any trapped seagrass wrack needs to be pushed into the ocean to allow nature to naturally bypass the newly reconfigured groynes. In time sand will saturate the Western Beach and the need for intervention will be less.

But the DoT has adopted a wait and see approach whereby the trapped seagrass wrack will only become more entrenched and will further create a greater problem in December 2018.


November 2017

Groyne Reconfiguration Issues

The City of Busselton has had to intervene and close and fence off the Port Geographe Western Beach due to thousands of tons of trapped rotting seagrass wrack. According to the Department of Transport this is an acceptable outcome of the $28 Million dollars spent trying to fix this very issue. The DoT amended the EMMP so they could not be held liable and are refusing to intervene and resolve this issue by removing the trapped seagrass wrack and saturating the Western Beach with sand.


December 2016

Port Geogrpahe Western Beach still plagued with rotting Seagrass Wrack

The Department of Transport still refuses to amend the EMMP to resolve the trapping of thousands of tons of seagrass wrack. The community is outraged that the Groyne Reconfiguration has not delivered the outcomes as expected.

This has occurred as the Western Beach was not saturated with sand at the completion of the Groyne Reconfiguration.


December 2014

Groyne Reconfiguration Project Completed

The Department of Transport has completed the groyne reconfiguration but failed to saturate the Western Beach. This could potentially create a massive issue with seagrass wrack again becoming trapped.


28th June 2013

Today the Hon.Troy Bussell MLA announced that work will commence next week on the reconfiguration of the groynes at Port Geographe, it is anticipated the reconfiguration works will take about 12 months to complete, then followed by an additional 6 months on landscaping and amenities. Hopefully this will resolve the coastal issues that have plagued Port Geographe since it's construction.

November 2012

Public Announcement

The Port Geographe Action Group wishes to advise all its members and supporters that the State Government have undertaken to implement the findings of the Port Geographe study which recommends and endorses the modification and reconfiguration of the groynes at Port Geographe. We welcome this initiative as a positive step forward in providing our group and the resident’s assurances that the authorities will work towards implementing a long term solution to the coastal issues surrounding Port Geographe. Since the Port Geographe Action Groups inception some 10 years ago we have been working extremely hard towards finding a sustainable long term solution to the coastal issues surrounding Port Geographe. I would like to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to all the current and past action group committee members, especially Vince Beard and Judy Clarke, and the countless number of residents and supporters who when asked attended so many council and public meetings over the past 10 years in support of our endeavours. Your support, encouragement, time and efforts has been instrumental in achieving this milestone.

I would like to make special mention and sincerely thank the following people who without their support and efforts we would not have been able to achieve this result:-

Judy Clarke       Hon Troy Buswell MLA     Hon Barry House MLC    Hon Adele Farina MLC   

Vince Beard      James Holder                     Mayor Ian Stubbs             Cr Gordon Bleechmore

Cr Terry Best    Matthew Smith                  Oliver Darby                      Sharon Woodford-Jones

Wayne Winchester  and especially my wife Sue

Present Action Group Committee members:-

Judy Clarke     Kate Denney     John Hanlon      Barry Faithfull

Patrick Ayres    Paul Perrott     Betsy Orwin      Lyn Gibson

Past Action Group Committee members:-

Vince Beard      Peter McClurg     Bill Cherry    Trevor Fitzgerald

Ray Clarke       Wayne Richter      Barbara McSherry

Thank you all and hopefully one day in the not so distant future residents of Port Geographe and the surrounding areas can finally look forward to the restoration of our amenities and an end of the band aid annual bypassing of seagrass, blocked channel entrance and erosion of the beaches at Wonnerup.


Peter Maccora

Chairman Port Geographe Action Group


January 2012        Wespac Bank delays any long term solution to the coastal issues surrounding Port Geographe

The proposed UWA long term solution which identified a viable groyne reconfiguration to the coastal issues surrounding Port Geographe has been stalled by the Wespac Bank’s refusal to accept a proposition presented to them by the State Government and the City of Busselton. 

As a result of the developers having gone into administration owing the Wespac Bank around $100Million, the Wespac Bank are trying to sell the development to recoup the money owed through loans given to the developer. The State Government has offered the Wespac Bank a sum of money to take over the development and fund the reconfiguration but the Wespac Bank want more, and have successfully managed through the courts a deferment on having to make any decisions and therefore stalled the whole development.

Unfortunately this means more pain and frustration for the residents and delays in implementing any long term solution.

At this stage their looks like no long term solution and the annual bypassing operation of trucking and pumping will continue until the authorities and the Wespac Bank come to an arrangement which could be years away. The funding of any future bypassing works programs now rests with the State Government and the City of Busselton as the developer's bond money as all been exhausted. If no funds are provided by the State Government until an arrangement can be agreed upon then unfortunately this will result in massive accumulation of seagrass wrack on the western beaches, erosion on the eastern beaches and the marina channel entrance becoming blocked with seagrass wrack as occurred in 2002 to 2004 when no bypassing occurred. 

Can I suggest you contact Mike Archer the CEO of the City of Busselton and James Holder of the Department of Transport for any further updates, as the implementation of a long term solution is currently on hold and we are awaiting information from these two authorities as to what will occur in the future.

Mike’s email address is [email protected] , James’s email address [email protected]

August 2011

The Department of Transport and the Shire of Busselton has advised our group that this year’s annual bypassing of seagrass has been delayed again due to the developers inability to implement the annual bypassing, residents will be subjected to a works program starting in October running for a period of 6 to 8 weeks, leaving our coastal amenities unusable well into the summer months.

The Action Group has expressed our concerns and disappointment at the delayed start but there appears little we can do to bring these works forward, it is now up to the State Government to finally step in an implement the groyne reconfiguration as a matter of urgency. The developers bond will be totally exhausted after this year’s annual bypassing, and unless the groyne reconfiguration commences early next year, the residents will again be faced with trapped accumulated seagrass on the Western beaches emitted high levels of H2S, a block and unnavigable marina entrance and massive erosion at Wonnerup with no funds available going forward. 

We are asking all residents to write and or email the following members of parliament expressing the need for urgent approvals and funds to commence the groyne reconfigurations in 2012.

Hon. Colin James Barnett MLA MEc

Suite 12,
589 Stirling Highway
Cottesloe WA 6011

email : [email protected] 


Hon. Troy Raymond Buswell MLA BEc

16 Prince Street,
Busselton WA 6280

Email: [email protected]


Hon. John Howard Dadley Day MLA BSc, BDSc

16 Mead Street,
Kalamunda WA 6076

Email: [email protected]


Hon. Brendon John Grylls MLA
PO Box 66
Merredin WA 6415
Email: [email protected]



March 2011

The long awaited seagrass and sand study has finally been released and the UWA has recommend the groynes at Port Geographe be reconfigured to allow natural bypassing of sand and seagrass.

The Action Group welcomes this major milestone and look forward to finally seeing an end to the costal issues surrounding Port Geographe should this reconfiguration of the groynes occur.

Information can be obtained on the Department of Transport's web site:

The Port Geographe Sediment and Seagrass Reference Group provided support for the UWA concept in its recommendation to the Port Geographe Community Consultation Forum (PGCCF) on 1 October 2010.  

The PGCCF, chaired by Hon Barry House MLC, in turn endorsed the reference group recommendations. The concept has since been finalised following additional fine tuning and testing with a view to achieving a greatly improved flow of seagrass wrack and sediment in the area. 

The modifications include:

  • Reconfiguration of the shape and length of the western breakwater;
  • Removal of the ‘Moonlight Bay’ groynes to eliminate trapping of sediment and seagrass wrack;
  • Re-alignment of the development foreshore; and,
  • Modification of the eastern seawall to address beach erosion at Wonnerup.


10th September 2008

Wonnerup Residents have had enough of their beaches being turned into a seaweed dumping ground, after years of failed works programs the residents have finally had enough. Vehicles were today parked to stop access to the trucks destroying their once pristine beaches. Why has it been left to the residents to take these drastic actions? Surely its about time the authorities start looking at a long term solution and not these bandaid works programs.

1st September 2008

Register your complaint relating to the current works on 0488 436 939  or [email protected]

As you are all probably aware the works have started and will encompass a larger area this year and include all of Wonnerup beach as well as the Western beach and Moonlight Bay.  We believe this year is going to be as bad as ever if not worse due to the condensation of the programme into just 6 1/2 weeks which will mean a heavier reliance on the contingency trucking.  The Shire is trying to hold firm on the motions they passed, from our electors meeting, on the finish dates of Oct 15th for the works and Oct 30th for the dredging. but as has always happened, what do they do if, as we expect, the developer will not meet their deadline once again.  The Oct 15th finish date was always a trial deadline as a start anyway and we believe that people would really want to use the beach earlier especially with the good weather we have been having lately but certainly by the School holidays which this year start on Sept 27th.
The complaints are being handled by Steve O'brien again representing the developer as the Shire and the developer could not come to an agreement about the proposed alternative system which was going to be run through the Shire, but funded by the developer.
We would like to impress on everyone that it is essential that anyone effected or impacted by this years works programme must complain if they are unhappy.  As the local community know and you would think that it was blatantly obvious, people are not happy with the works but unfortunately unless complaints are recorded it will be said that other than a few who did complain, everyone else must be happy.  The most common comment we get is "but we would of had to complain everyday" and that is exactly right.  You need to complain if you are unhappy about anything at all and you need to complain every time that you are unhappy.  Every time the noise and vibrations from the machinery annoys you - complain, every time you want to go for a walk and can't - complain, every time the smell is bad - complain, if the house, gutters and veranda's are getting covered in dust and sand - complain and demand that it is cleaned.  If you are suffering damage to your house or side effects from the Hydrogen Sulphide (rotten egg smell) then most certainly complain and loudly.
If you have any problems what so ever with the complaints line not answering, not returning calls or the attitude or response to the way your complaint is dealt with then complain about that as well.  We suggest you ring both the Shire 97810444  (The new staff who deal with Port Geographe are Andrei Souto and Oliver Darby) and Luke Saraceni's Office on 9322 2588.  Please also feel free to contact us if you have any other problems.  Please refer to the Committee details on this website.
We have been working towards dealing with this years works period and we will be recording everything during the works and reporting as we go, particularly on anything over any acceptable limits.  We have been carefully allocating funds from our membership fees and other generous donations to this task, so keep an eye on the papers.

Media Release 1st September 2008

Action Group Predicts Appalling Conditions during the Works Programme at Port Geographe
The Port Geographe Action Group is extremely concerned about the current works programme for Port Geographe and expects dreadful results for the Port Geographe, Wonnerup and Bayside communities.  The details of the programme were only supplied to all the government agencies and community groups by the developer late last week and with the works already starting, there was no time for any checking of, or adjustments to the plan.  Pre-works had already commenced before anyone knew what was going on.  This on it's own is unacceptable and given that the works are now into their 5th year, one would think that by now, it should be better prepared and organised. 
You would also have to assume that with 5 years of experience and with all the engineers and consultants that the developers have working for them, that this is the best programme that they can come up with, apparently.  These people sit in their offices in Perth and have no idea of the disastrous day to day effects that the works have on people, their families and their lives.  People have to lock themselves inside their houses whilst the works go on.  The side effects of the works on the community include subjecting them to construction noise levels, the horrible Hydrogen Sulphide rotten egg smell which causes all sorts of social and health issues, the dust and diesel fumes as well as damage and maintenance on houses, and that's just for a start.  The access to all beaches  from Morgan Street to Wonnerup have now been closed, but in all reality, the beaches have been inaccessible for months due to the unnatural and massive build up of weed on the West and within Moonlight Bay and the unnatural erosion on the East at Wonnerup. 
It is now planned that the works will occur between the 1st of September and the 15th of October allowing only 6 and 1/2 weeks to move, what has been basically been agreed to be an absolute minimum of 220,000m3 of weed and sand.  Last year a total of 261,000m3 of material had to be bypassed.  The contractors have never before been able to meet this target so this finish date hasn't even been trailed yet, but allowing the works to go any later has been proven to cause detrimental effects to the beaches and water quality that is then felt for the entire summer with smelly black water and mushed up weed that keeps coming back in to shore over and over again. Given the short works period, the only way that there is any hope of achieving this is to maximise the contingency trucking measures which means masses of truck movements every day from 7am to 6pm, six days a week down Guerin Street and around the outside and all the way along Layman Road to Wonnerup.  With the new road there will be residents, previously not effected as much, that will now be subjected to the associated side effects.  Of course the works don't actually just go for this period as we have the set-up works and then the subsequent clean-up works as well which last year went right up to Christmas and this is then followed by the required settling period.  Wonnerup is also subject to masses of truck movements all year round due to the construction of the new stages of the canal development.  All of this during tourist time in a tourist town.  They will be continuing the works right through the Sept/Oct school holidays.  I can only imagine the effect that this had, and will again have on the Busselton Beach Resort and other holiday accommodation establishments and the associated businesses.
Due to a lack of equipment the dredging of the harbour has previously had to be done once the bypassing works have been completed which means, if the works run late then so does the dredging.  The dredging is supposed to be completed by October 30th, as was the case last year.  However, last year, because the works ran so late and because the licence had not even been applied for, the dredging didn't even start until way after that and continued right up until a few days before Christmas.  Obviously, the dredging has to be done so that the bigger  boats can navigate the entrance to the canal's and we feel that this should be finished as early as possible.  The navigation of the harbour entrance has previously been a problem with boats not being able to get access into the harbour or in fact being stuck inside and not being able to get out.  This problem led the Port Geographe Action Group to fight to have the October 30th dredging finish date formalised as being final via our electors meeting motions and this was subsequently passed by the Shire Council.
The Action Group has always supported that the weed needs to be moved as it gets trapped so that a big build up does not occur.  The developer, however, has decided that doing the works as late as possible is more beneficial, but to whom?  The majority of reports on this issue make little or no mention of the effects that the works have on the community or in fact the environment. After the first two disastrous years of the project that have been over budget, overtime and caused great disruption and anguish to the lives of the residents in the area that are affected, it is unbelievable that the developers have been given the go-ahead to trial this late start date option.
The poor residents of Port Geographe, Geographe and Wonnerup, have had 12 years of this absolute nightmare even though they were promised "no long term loss or erosion of the existing beaches east and west of the proposed foreshore works as a consequence of this project" (Ministerial Conditions for the development).  When is this going to stop!  We believe that it has now been proven that the works are unsustainable and totally unmanageable and allowing the weed to accumulate in the first place is entirely unviable. This years mess clearly has to be the final nail in the coffin for works of this magnitude. Surely, common sense must prevail.

Judy Clarke

Chairman Port Geographe Action Group and Wonnerup Residents Association


Special Electors Meeting - 29th November 2007 - 7:00Pm United Church Kent Street (opposite Target)

Please attend - Now is the time to Act.

Electors Meeting Motions – Port Geographe 29th November 2007 

  1. The Shire of Busselton adequately resource the appointment of a full time suitably qualified shire officer to daily monitor the annual works, for the duration of the works, including reporting and recording of H2S and Noise levels.
  1. The Shire of Busselton to purchase 4 H2S data logging devices for continual recording of H2S during the annual works and appoint a suitable qualified industrial chemist to ascertain the levels of H2S being experienced.
  1. The Shire of Busselton monitor the noise levels associated as part of the annual works and the noise level to be set to that as allowed within a residential area not exceeding 45db.
  1. The Shire of Busselton to ensure that a completion date of the 15th October be set for any future seagrass and sand bypassing works programs and the beach amenities West and East are available to the public from that date on.
  1. The Shire of Busselton  to ensure that a completion date of 30th October be set for any dredging works programs to ensure the harbour entrance is navigable beyond that date.
  1. The Shire of Busselton immediately investigates and undertakes water modelling and tank testing to identify possible groyne modifications which will

A)    Reduce the amount of seagrass being trapped

B)    Ensure the marina entrance remains navigable

C)    Ensure adequate water flushing is achieved

D)    Minimise the erosion at Wonnerup

This can occur in parallel with the seagrass and sand movement study and the findings and determination to be presented and available by the end of 2009.

  1. The Shire of Busselton ensures all seagrass pumped and dredging to Wonnerup must be pumped to the outer distribution point.
  1. The Shire of Busselton to ensure quarterly water quality monitoring West, East and within the Port Geographe marina and this is to include dissolved levels of H2S.
  1. The Shire of Busselton to petition the State Government to undertake a comprehensive health study to ascertain any possible effects to long term low level exposure to H2S and noise concerns, including respiratory, stress and wellbeing issues.
  2. The Shire of Busselton to petition the State Government to co fund 50% the cost of the works annually including monitoring, and after handover the State Government remain a stakeholder after the development has been completed. The Shire of Busselton to request that the seating of State Parliamentary for August/September session be held within the Shire of Busselton, so all the State Ministers can first hand view the issues associated at Port Geographe.
  3. The Shire of Busselton ensure that the developer is required to enter into an agreement whereby the developer agree to provide a bank guarantee or bond to fund 1/3 of the estimated cost of modifying the existing groynes and that the bank guarantee or bond is to be put in place prior to the clearance of titles for stage 8 of the subdivision South of Layman Road or prior to the titles being issued for any lot that would exceed 50% of the development lots.

    The guarantee is to stay in place until the groynes are modified or a final determination is made on the modification issues by the State Government.


Update since the Public Meeting held on the 17th October 2007

Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) Monitoring

The Shire’s monitoring of potentially harmful H2S emissions from the stockpiled seagrass wrack was only done on 4 days during this year’s annual seagrass and sand bypassing works program and recorded one reading which was of concern. The Port Geographe Action Group and Wonnerup Residents Association (WRA) find this totally unacceptable and will be pushing to ensure future testing is done on a daily basis over the entire works program.  We are currently awaiting verification of results and a report from the Health Department on the Shire’s readings as well as the readings taken by one of our committee members in the last couple of weeks of the works. The highest H2S reading recorded by our committee member using a tamper-proof, highly sophisticated calibrated unit was confirmed by the consulting specialists to be 17ppm.

Noise Complaints and Monitoring

The Shire did no noise monitoring even though there were many complaints, the contractor advised that they had a consultant measure noise from machinery on only one day but results are yet to be passed on.  The Action Group and WRA find this totally unacceptable and will be pushing to ensure future testing is done more regularly and certainly when complaints are received.  Also, the area between the Western groyne to Guerin Street is now classed as a “construction site”, which means that the acceptable noise level is raised to 65dB from 45dB, even though the “construction” is never finished.   There is a clause that allows for a site to be classed construction during maintenance even if it is expected to continue every year for months at a time.  The Action Group and WRA find this to be totally unacceptable in a residential area.

Water Quality Monitoring

A new program for monitoring water quality along the western beaches, within the canals and at Wonnerup will be put in place by the DEC next year.  Details are not yet available.

Seagrass and Sand Bypassing Results

This year over 260,000m3 of material was bypassed, based on $6.50m3 pumping costs would result in an approximate cost of $1.7 million each year.  This, again, is a long way above the original proposed costs and will put an extra burden on Shire rates when these costs are transferred to the Shire.  No accurate proportions of sand or seagrass that make up this total volume can be reported at this time due to problems with the accuracy of the measuring systems.  For this reason determining an estimate of the annual erosion at Wonnerup is difficult.  The Action Group and WRA find this totally unacceptable and will be pushing to ensure that accurate, substantiated measurements and data are collected in the future.

Timing of Works 

The developers’ consultants and contractors are recommending that next years seagrass and sand bypassing be delayed and start after the 1st September and finish no later than the 15th November, at this stage, it appears to be supported by Shire staff and the DPI. This will mean no beach amenity until after the 15th November and based on the volumes previously experienced the residents will have to accept an increased to the exposure of H2S odour and loss of amenities.

 The Action Group and the WRA strongly oppose a later works start period for the following reasons -:

    1)      The huge piles of weed that are trapped on the west will be left to decompose for longer. 

2)    The smell (H2S emissions) will continue during the warmer weather limiting residents outside activities well into summer due to the smell. 

3)    The possible health and stress related issues that the H2S emissions may cause with this longer exposure. 

4)    The beaches will be un-accessible and un-useable for longer, possibly well into summer. 

5)    The final amenity outcome including the water quality will be affected, as it takes a period of time after the works have been completed to settle down and clear. 

6)     If the pumping of seagrass to Wonnerup is delayed it may not clear as the winter storms would have passed.

This affects the eastern amenity, water quality and means the smell will just be transferred from the western side to the eastern side as is currently the case. 

7)    The consultant’s recommendation of doing the works from the 1st September to 15th November only allows for less than 11 weeks to complete the annual seagrass and sand bypassing. 

To date the annual seagrass and sand bypassing has commenced in July, the contractor has not been able to complete the works on time for the past 2 years.  This year they again had to introduce trucking as a contingency plan.  

Based on the volumes achieved by the pumping system and the expected quantities of seagrass and sand to be bypassed, they will have to introduce trucking again next year to complete the works by the 15th November. 

8)    The contractors are still dredging the marina and discharging the material offshore at Wonnerup causing amenity and water quality issues for Wonnerup, in previous years dredging has been delayed until the bypassing of seagrass and sand has been completed. 

9)     The Action Group and WRA strongly believe that the costs of the works is extremely important, and cannot support an option that takes costs as the only consideration, without consideration to the affect this has on the residents and our amenities West, East and within Port Geographe.

Port Geographe Action Group - Treasurers Report

Income is received via membership fees, donations, fundraising and bank interest.  Since the Port Geographe Action group’s inception, expenditure has been limited to advertising, printing, legal fees and stationery with minor expenses of postage, internet registrations, hall hire and bank fees.  Total expenditure has now exceeded $18,000.00 (eighteen thousand dollars).  For any further enquiry, please contact the treasurer Mr. John Hanlon (Chartered Accountant) details on web site at

Wonnerup Townsite

 Even though the new buried seawall helped protect the western corner of the beach, Wonnerup roads and infrastructure were again under threat this winter.  Unfortunately, the beach is not building up towards the new beach profile, as designed by the consultants. There is also extra work now required due to damage caused by the breaches of the sea this past winter which will require extra sand.  The WRA has asked for assistance from the Shire and the DPI to ensure that the agreed works are finalised and all of Wonnerup townsite is protected for this coming winter.    


The Action Group and WRA have grave concerns over the social, environmental and economic sustainability of the development and the current works program and believe that the Shire and the State must look to other alternatives like modifying the groynes.

Independent Hydrogen Sulphide Testing 28th October 2007

The Port Geographe Action Group arranged for our own testing of H2S at Port Geographe last week, we commissioned a Perth based company Drager which has specialised H2S testing equipment, the results are data logged within the certified equipment then the logged data is downloaded and the results reported by Drager. 

The results have been passed to the relevant state and local authorities, readings reported on the 23rd October 2007 by Drager, over a 20 minute period, are of a concern as it showed the highest reading of 17.1PPM also 25 Alarms went off during the 20 minute period 3:35pm – 3:55pm, weather conditions 5-10kn winds. 

The readings were taken outside the work area and within the allowable area for residents, I have reported these findings to the DEC – Section ResoursesSaftey as advised by Worksafe Australia. 

What are the hydrogen sulphide health guidelines?

Worksafe Australia: For hydrogen sulphide, it is allowable for workers to be exposed to concentrations of 10 parts per million, averaged over an eight hour workshift, with the exposure not exceeding 15 parts per million. Worksafe Australia reports hydrogen sulphide is very toxic by inhalation.

Considering these readings were taken when 98% of seagrass had been removed and not within the work area, one can only assume higher readings would have been recorded earlier and within the work site.  

Mr Ray Clarke will provide a full report to the Port Geographe Working Group meeting scheduled on the 5th November 2007.

Public Meeting 24th October 2007

Summary of the public meeting held on the 24th October 2007, it was decided that a Special Electors meeting with the Shire would be called as clearly the current method proposed as a long term solution is totally unacceptable to the residents, during the night 159 signatures were obtain and several resolutions and motions were passed as describe below.

The public was extremely concerned, angry, disillusioned etc with the current status of affairs especially knowing the fact that in as little as 4 years the developer could finish stage 2 then 2 years after that the whole project is handed over to the shire to carry the costs without any long term acceptable solution.

Some residents wanted our group to immediately start legal action against the state government and shire as they see no end to this mess, I stated that our group wanted to ensure all other avenues have been exhausted before we consider taking this line but if we are left with no other option then it must be seriously considered. I even had several residents wanting to start contributing towards a legal fund but I said we should wait until the outcome of the next PGWG meeting and Electors meeting before any decisions are made.


I wanted to be re-assured that the stance and decisions the Action Group are taking are in fact in accordance to the wishes of the residents we represent, they were unanimous in their vote and totally supported our group and the decisions we have and are making.


I spoke about the objectives defined in the scope of the Coastal Study given to Dr Mike Paul that was agreed in 2004 and that clearly the proposed 4 years works program has not and does not achieve the objectives or outcomes, I indicted that volumes of seagrass and sand stated within Dr Mike Paul’s assessment were a best guess as accurate information as to the volumes of seagrass and sand were not available, but it has now been proven to be vastly different to what we are experiencing.  


Let me explain


Throughout Dr Mike Paul’s report he states we could expect between 20,000m3 – 50,000m3 of seagrass annually, maybe as high as 80,000m3 but once the backlog has been cleared this will reduce and 50,00-m3 of sand erodes from Wonnerup on average.


Last year Judy through an enormous amount of work demonstrated that the figures presented by the consultants differed greatly to her findings, never the less, MP Rodgers stated 104,000m3 of seagrass and 102,000m3 of sand was bypassed.  In February we were informed only 4,000m3 of sand remained at Wonnerup even though according to MP Rodgers 102,000m3 of sand was bypassed, this means one of two things


  1. Less than 102,000m3 of sand was bypassed (which we suspect might be the case)
  2. Greater than 50,000m3 of sand is eroding from Wonnerup


Either way this is not a good outcome.


Based on the last figures supplied by BSO and MP Rodgers on this years 2007 bypassing operation we can expect that by the end of the works 150,000m3 of seagrass would have been bypassed, this means which ever way you look at it the residents will be faced with the possibility of having to bypass annually around 200,000m3 of material (it’s not revellent as to whether it’s seagrass or sand) at a cost of $6.50m3 = $1.3million then $300,000 for dredging, totally around $1.6Million annually.  


Dr Mike Paul’s latest analysis is that they should pump from the 1st September through to 15th November (he states 12 weeks, yet this adds up to 11 weeks), regardless this means a loss of amenity from the time seagrass accumulates until the end of November and we know this means later as they have not been able to comes close to the agreed finish date (hardly minimal impact as a result of this development). Dredging would occur between January, February and possibly go into March as the same pipes are used for pumping and dredging, also absolutely no consideration has been given to the state the amenity of Wonnerup would be left in after the pumping and dredging.


Then we have the noise level issues and H2S odour and health issues, the current method is totally unacceptable, not sustainable socially, environmentally and is not cost effective and definitely not a long term solution.

Please find the results of the Health Survey conducted in October 2007


Interim Report


We received a large number of comments from participants, even though comments were

not required or requested on the health survey forms and had no section of their own or

place of response.


A summary of those comments follow and highlight not only the magnitude of the

problems, but the massive array of issues that residents, workers and visitors to Port

Geographe have experienced.




Can no longer take my daily walk in this area.  I did not have these issues until I moved here 3 years ago

Buying this property was the worst decision I have ever made.


I do not have these problems when I stay with my daughter in Margaret River

I used to enjoy going for a jog around the canals, now I keep clear of the whole area due to the sickening



Stress caused by the constant loud noise close to our house and the strong sulphur smell which prohibits

outside activities and relaxation and makes it impossible to open doors or windows on a nice day


May have effect on my wife's nervous system


I suffer from severe tinnitus which is further exacerbated by the constant noise close to our house


The smell is preventing my outdoor walking exercise.  We are having to keep all our doors and windows



The ghastly chocking stench which permeates into our car has deprived us of the once pleasant scenic drive through

drive through Wonnerup on our entry and exit to Busselton.


A permeating pungent smell particularly on days of "no wind" and strong North, North-east and North-west



Have had to increase medication


Decline in social visiting due to smell.


Vomiting due to Odour


Even though I don't live in the area, I notice (throat complaints and coughing) after a days work at the



Complaints apparent after visiting friends in Marine Terrace


The people responsible for this environmental disaster should be locked up.  We are looking for

somewhere else to live.


Never had asthma before moving to the area 3 years ago.


My sons asthma only flares up in our home environment when the winds push the seagrass odours

towards us.


I am allergic to sulphur


Fatigue - sudden onset


All members of family have been affected by these illnesses.


It does seem to us that the smell has been much worse this year.  We have heard three properties

side by side on Geographe Bay Rd with people from these households experiencing throat ulcers.

Whether that is connected to the weed shifting is debatable, however, it does seem a coincidence.


When snorkelling all last summer, we noticed bubbles coming up from the ocean floor on a regular basis.


The smell makes us nauseas.  We have had to close the house up to try to keep it out, but it seems to

seep through.


Foul smell from time to time.


Friends don't like to visit because of the smell.


It's depressing not being able to walk along the beach.


We are concerned at possible health related issues.


Other concerns are the smell of gas being given off by the seagrass, the noise factor of the trucks and

vibration and diesel fumes of the machinery.


The unbelievable stinking mess will eventually drive us out of lovely Busselton.  This is crap.


Woken at night with foul smell and had to close all the windows seeking relief.


Noise and Vibration of trucks as they move up and down our street working hard through the gears as

they travel both ways 8 hours a day.


Can't breathe for the stench.


General discomfort when putrid odour occurs.


Can't walk dogs during works.


Can't open windows and doors to let fresh air in.  Not good enough.


The smell comes into house down the rangehood fan etc. and makes us sick.


The smell is disgusting - it goes right through my home and I'm not even on the waterfront.


The smell goes all through the house and makes you feel sick all day.


A general unwell feeling during the works.


Survey Results: Summary



68% of participants recorded that they have experienced headaces as a result


of odour emitting from the trapped seagrass.



More than 90% of participants experienced more than one symptom.



Half of the recipients reported experiencing 3 or more of the symptoms listed


although many also noted other extra symptoms as well.



More than 40% complained of each of the problems including headaces, eye


irritations, throat irritations, nausea and stomach issues, as well as coughing


and sleeping issues with some of these also having other extra symptoms.


NOTE: Even though children were mentioned in the survey responses they were not included in the statistics









Respiratory Issues




Eye Irritations




Throat Irritations




Nausea Stomach Problems




Asthma Attacks








Sleeping Issues






































18th October 2006

As outlined in the agreed 4 years works program, the following is an extraction of the agreed actions and outcomes for 2006.

Annual works in the agreed 4 years works program are scheduled for completion annually on the 15th October …

Here's the agreed criteria - you make up your own mind (checkout the Beach Photos page if you need some help)

YEAR 2006








Implementation Actions


Target / Dates





Western Beach

Construct and trial a pumping system capable of mechanically bypassing sand/wrack at an average rate 3000m3 per day in a cost effective manner

Construct and install 5 Auger hopper and pump system and trial the bypassing of approximately 20,000m3 of sand to Wonnerup Beach as part of the nourishment for the low profile groyne structures.

Apr 22 to May 27

No. 1




Resolve any land matters and tenure issues for the pipeline to be used for the slurry pump.




Bypass 300,000m3 of sand to Wonnerup Beach between 2006 to 2008 to eliminate the shortfall in the required level of by-passing since 1996 and reinstate the MSL shoreline of 1995 at Wonnerup Beach and to then maintain the required level of annual sand bypassing at 50,000m3 to prevent erosion at Wonnerup Beach

Bypass approximately 100,000m3 of sand to Wonnerup Beach together with seagrass utilising pump system.

August to Oct 15

No. 1 & No. 2


Remove all seagrass wrack that accumulates on the Western Beach between Guerin Street and the Western Training Wall by no later than October 15 each year utilising mechanical or other means such as the pumping system so as to minimise the need for trucking operations to achieve this objective.

Bypass accumulated seagrass that is not removed by natural processes to Wonnerup Beach (<100,000m3) utilising Disposal Point No. 1.

June 10 to Oct 7

No. 1 & No. 3 & No. 4




Stick rake wrack to aid natural processes for the removal of seagrass from the Beach.

Aug to Oct 15





Recontour and level beach to the required finished level.






Remove hopper system and associated equipment from the Beach.

Nov to Dec





Monitor annual sand and seagrass accumulation in trap area and Western Beach via aerial observations every4 –6 weeks.

Jan to Dec

No. 2


Review and implement where practical proposed recontouring works between Guerin Street and the Western Training Wall behind the active beach face to raise the level of the Beach in order to reduce the potential for wrack to become permanently trapped as per the MJ Paul Report.

Monitor accumulation of seagrass over the works period to establish more definite assessment of the required level to raise the beach.

May to Nov



Gravel removal from Western Beach

Remove all remnant gravel on the Western Beach from the works undertaken involving removal of the gravel road and Guerin Street groyne.



Wonnerup Beach

Adopt a new beach profile for Wonnerup Beach with a Mean Sea Level (MSL) post and pre nourishment shoreline that aims to reinstate the Mean Sea Level shoreline (1995) that existed prior to the commencement of construction of the Port Geographe Project.

Submit for approval and adopt MJ Paul Report identifying Beach Profile for Wonnerup showing pre- nourishment and post nourishment MSL's Drawing No. MJP-1235-5-1

Feb to March





Investigate and submit applications for contingency sources of sand.

March to July



Install sufficient unobtrusive low profile groynes, and seawall and associated structures at Wonnerup Beach which reduces the level of erosion and protects the existing road and houses from storm damage and which help maintain the approved beach profile and the Mean Sea Level post nourishment and pre- nourishment limits.

Issue Contract and install first 2 agreed low profile groynes as per approved plans (Appendix D)

March to April





Lodge Development Application and seek approval for a low profile seawall between the existing seawall and the first low profile groyne as per the approved plans (Appendix D)

April to July





Recontour with existing sand stockpile and 20,000m3 from pump trial to cover low profile groynes (approximately 50,000m3) and create a beach in front of the groynes as per approval plans to at least the pre-nourishment MSL.

April to May





Recontour deposited sand to form a beach






Monitoring and stabilisation of formed beach at Wonnerup(as required)




Ensure that material transported to Wonnerup Beach is placed at the most suitable disposal point for the time of year proposed so as to maintain water quality at the completion of works which is equivalent to the quality of other beaches such as the beach near the Busselton Jetty

Review annual performance of works and sand retention to determine most appropriate actions and structures for 2007 programme






Complete annual hydrographic monitoring data and survey - Analyse assess performance.

Jul and Nov


Other Works







Harbour / Marina

Maintain a minimum safe navigable depth within the harbour entrance channel within the approved AHD limits.

Dredge entrance channel and canals as required to maintain navigation.


No. 3




Annual hydrographic monitoring survey – analyse data and assess performance



Pocket Beaches

Maintain the pocket beaches between the Western Beach and Wonnerup Beach by ensuring sufficient sand renourishment and wrack seagrass removal as required.

Renourish pocket beaches with 10,000m3 of sand and manage any seagrass wrack

Aug to Oct 15

No. 1, No. 2 & No. 3

Related Coastal Activities And Studies

Identify the natural processes associated with stranding of sand and wrack on the shore and its removal from the beaches or its permanent retention.

Initiate scientific study on seagrass wracking processes

Jan to Dec



To determine some practical means of better measuring volumes of seagrass wrack in a consistent, cost effective and reliable manner.

Initiate a scientific study for measuring seagrass and wrack

Jan to Dec



Seek DOE approval to harvest seagrass wrack from Western Beach and the pocket beaches for commercial purposes.

Make application to D.O.E. and pursue approval.

Jan to Dec





Complete annual monitoring report.






Review Four-Year Works Programme and amend as required



Note Contingency Actions

No. 1 If the hopper and pump system breaks down or is not operating to the required capacity to achieve target volumes then trucking movements should resume temporarily while the pumping system is being repaired or modified. In the event that sand and weed accumulate offshore in near-shore shallow water at the Western Beach, a temporary land bridge will be constructed to access this material as per the practice in previous years. This contingency will be initiated once bypassing volume targets are not met for two consecutive weeks. The contingency will remain in place until the Joint Venture is satisfied that any backlog in volumes has been caught up. During this period trucks are to use the routes and procedures identified in the approved Traffic Management Plan (Appendix E). 

No. 2 The project coastal engineers to make an assessment of the volume of sand available for by-passing within the permitted work area at least 90 days prior to the required by-passing of significant quantities of sand and if a shortfall is likely to arise in relation to the volumes required to be by-passed then the sand should be sourced from the approved alternative source. 

No. 3 Any seagrass pumped to Wonnerup Beach after Mid October or when prevailing conditions may cause a fouling of the water is to be pumped to Disposal Point No. 2. The underwater piping to Disposal Point No. 2 to be installed as required for this purpose. 

No. 4 Contractor to have machinery on standby to return and collect any new seagrass wrack that may be deposited on the Beach after the works have been completed (i.e. after Mid October). The process of collection and disposal should be timed to occur over short duration of a few days and once sufficient new wrack has accumulated.





The following was presented by PGAG members at a recent Port Geographe Working Group meeting held in Perth on the 20th December 2005 as an acceptable framework for future coastal maintenance programs for the coastline affected by the Port Geographe development.


Port Geographe Works Program Presentation

20th December 2005


It is understood the following is required annually

  1. 50,000m3 – 80,000m3 of Seagrass wrack on the western side of the development will be required to be bypassed, to clear what has generally remained trapped after the clearing storms (early August).
  2. 50,000m3 of sand will be required to be bypassed to allow for the annual accretion / erosion processes.


Principle One

Any annual works programs must be able to mange and deal with at least these known quantities of material.


Principle Two

The amenity must be available for public use and without loss to the quality of the amenity.

Historical Learning Our group believes there is need to develop a process whereby the works program mimics as close to nature as possible. That is, when seagrass is presented within the western trap area during its natural accumulation in winter, it is bypassed and presented to Wonnerup while these conditions prevail. If this practice is maintained and the bulk (80-90%) removal is achieved prior to the winter clearing storms, nature will have the best opportunity in ensuring any seagrass wrack at Wonnerup is  kept to a minimum, and less reliance is placed on the typical conditions that prevail during late Spring / Summer to further clear this material from Wonnerup.

There is also better chance the harvested area of sand on the western side of the development will be adequately renourished (due to strong littoral drift at this time of the year – that being Sept-Oct), and most importantly there is less chance of excess turbidity in our water quality.



The outcomes of any future works programs are to provide the following:- 

  1. The beaches both west and east of Port Geographe to be in the same condition with regards to access, sand and water quality as comparable with beaches within Busselton, say located at the Busselton Jetty.
  2. The amenity both east and west to be free of all machinery, fencing etc and works completed so the amenity will be available for use by the public by the October school holidays and through to April school holidays each year.
  3. All works required on the western side be limited from the western breakwater to Guerin Street until the backlog of sand has been fulfilled then this work area should be limited to Groyne road.
  4. The beach profile at Wonnerup is to be maintained to the defined profile as agreed and set out within the current deed of agreement.
  5. Any dredging required is to be completed prior to the winter clearing storms so this material does not cause water quality issue between spring and summer.

Further to the above, in year 2006;

Should any modifications or structures be deemed to be required at Wonnerup, it must be assured these structures will not cause further erosion east of these structures (that is; are to remain fully charged and in natural bypassing mode) and made of a material which will not break up as currently experienced with the existing rock structures.


Upon conclusion of this workshop held in Perth re future works programs saw the developer agree to;



Work towards finding a suitable interim management plan for coastal maintenance has continued. Below is a copy of correspondence confirming the agreed strategy for the works in 2005.

27th August 2005

Mr Luke Saraceni

Saracen Properties Pty Ltd

Project Director

Level 10

108 St Georges Tce

PERTH WA 6000 

Re: Recap of our meeting Friday 26th August 2005 

Dear Luke, 

Thankyou for taking the time on Friday to discuss the issues at Port Geographe. I would like to recap on what we have witnessed with the current works program. Before I commence I feel we need to assess what has happened in the past.

Prior to the breakwaters being installed, we used to have seagrass accumulating on the western beaches at the start of winter and during late August and early September this seagrass was dispersed and cleared naturally.

Since the breakwaters have been installed, each year the natural clearing of the accumulation of seagrass over time has become less and less with a greater concentration of seagrass remaining after August and September. In the first two to three years of the breakwaters being installed the seagrass issue was nowhere near the problem it is now.  

Why is this so, what has changed?

Since witnessing and monitoring this year’s current works program it has become apparent that as soon as attempts are made to realign the western beaches, this has quickly become saturated with sand again. If you look at the photographs presented you will notice substantial volumes of sand has already started to accumulate in front of the seagrass, effectively building a sand bar, this was also noticed last year when attempts were made to clear the seagrass. 

I also noticed that when we regained access to the water in the beginning of this year for the first time in two years the ocean floor was substantially shallower than it was prior to the breakwaters being installed. I have a mooring directly in front of my house which I put in 10 years ago, this was installed in about 15 feet of water, now it is in about 7 feet of water. This means that not only do we have an accumulation of sand on the western beaches as far back as Russell Street there has also been substantial shallowing of the waters west of the western breakwater. 

MP Rogers and Associates, The Shire of Busselton and Dr Mike Paul have all confirmed that for nature to naturally remove the seagrass the western beach profile must be raised, therefore the water needs to be deeper. If we go back to prior to the breakwaters being built, was this not the case, and since the breakwaters being built what has been allowed to occur is the saturation of sand within this area. Could this be contributing to nature’s inability to naturally disperse and clear of the seagrass?  I feel this year’s works program has demonstrated and presented several opportunities for future works programs, specifically if the trial pumping system proves successful. 

To maximise your potential with this years works program I would like to reiterate what I discussed with Dave Bobridge, Mick Rogers, Peter Meagher and Todd Johnson onsite and with yourself at your office. 

I suggest you consider immediately (within 7 days), another land based operation on the western beach near Guerin street with extra machinery and trucks to transport as much sand as is being presented over to Wonnerup. This operation needs to run in conjunction with the current seagrass wrack clearing operation currently underway, with the need to finalise this operation by the end of October. Our group and the residents, as a once off this year, will allow the operations to continue through the October school holidays and you should ramp this up to a 7 days a week operation, providing adequate safety measures are in place. 

To assist with the retention of the sand being deposited at Wonnerup, the suggestion of a constructed timber groyne should commence immediately. 

Next Years Work Program

Starting in May 2006 or as soon as seagrass wrack starts being deposited on the western beaches commence pumping (or transporting) this seagrass wrack to build a protection spur at Wonnerup and keep pumping seagrass wrack as it comes ashore on the western beaches during winter. It is imperative that sufficient seagrass wrack in pumped (or transported) early to build a spur which will protect the Wonnerup beaches during winter.

Starting on the 1st August 2006 start pumping (or transporting) sand over to Wonnerup and continue this operation up to the October school holidays. 

Any seagrass wrack spur remaining at Wonnerup after winter to be levelled to below the water level. 

Should this works program be successful it could achieve all the desired outcomes.

  1. The harbour entrance will remain navigable at all times.
  2. Works required on the western beaches can occur between May through to September.
  3. The re-establishment of the beach at Wonnerup without the need to build a proposed 50m out seawall. The winter seagrass wrack spur being the protection mechanism to ensure erosion is minimised during the winter months at Wonnerup.

There is one underlying concern that has to be addressed to ensure the above is successful and that is the saturating with sand of the seabed basin at Wonnerup and the unsaturating of the seabed basin on the western side. It is absolutely critical that while we have one side full and one side empty so to speak your whole works program and desired outcomes will be in jeopardy.

Could you please discuss this with your coastal engineers immediately as if this opportunity is not acted upon quickly the opportunity will be lost?

Should your coastal engineers fail to provide a works program which can successfully manage the seagrass wrack and pump or transport sand during the period May through to September, you will have no option but to seriously consider and implement major groyne modifications, reconfiguring and realignment, to achieve these goals. 


Peter Maccora


Port Geographe Action Group

Cc to  

Dave Bobridge

Mike Rodgers

Peter Meagher

Todd Johnson

Vince Beard

Bruce Lorimer


Concerns raised by PGAG re the direction of the PGWG

22nd August 2005

Mr Luke Saraceni

Saracen Properties Pty. Ltd.

Project Director.

Level 10

108 St Georges Tce

Perth W.A. 6000

 Re: Direction taken by the Port Geographe Working Group

Dear Luke

Based on discussions and comments made during the Port Geographe Working Group’s meeting held on the 19th August it is obviously clear that social and environmental issues have far less importance in relation to the annual works program of seagrass wrack management and sand bypassing and Dr Mike Paul’s assessment and report is weighted towards finding a method that achieves the lowest annual cost.

Our group fully understands the need to find a method of minimising the costs of clearing the build-up of seagrass wrack and sand bypassing 50,000m3 each year as ultimately these process will be the responsibility of the Busselton Shire, but whatever method is adopted it must be socially acceptable and provide a usable amenity during the times the general public would require use of this amenity.

The comments made that the current Development Deed approves and endorses works to occur between October through to April clearly shows the public has been misrepresented and mislead as to the impact of this development and if this is the direction that is to be followed be very clear the residents and public will continue this fight and pursue a very public campaign detailing the current state of affairs and processes and continue action through the courts if necessary, in fact it is incumbent as our duty of care as their representatives to pursue this matter, through the media and courts. No reasonable person will accept, endorse or approve a development that destroys an amenity and renders it useless during the times it is required to be used, while the condition of this amenity, investment and quality lifestyle for residents residing within this area continue to be placed at further risk.

I thought that we had progressed beyond this point and we had been making substantial progress towards finding an acceptable solution for all parties but this appears not to be the case and again we have been mislead.

Comments were made that our group is uncompromising, it is not a matter of compromise as no one has the right to compromise on what was a pristine environment and amenity that now has been turned into a social and environmental disaster. All we are requesting is that if an annual works program is required then it is planed and undertaken with the least possible impact and disruption to our amenity and at times when this amenity has the least use, (ie; between June and September).  Surely it is not socially acceptable and was never the intention to render the beaches unusable during the period they would normally be used and dump tons and tons of seagrass and sand over to Wonnerup at a time which will also render them unusable.  

It is not up to our group to give concessions but it is about all parties finding a solution that provides an outcome that re-instates our amenity back to its pristine pre development condition with the least possible impact to the residents of Busselton. We strongly believe that this was agreed to when the development was initially proposed and this was the clear intention of the Development Deed.

Luke we have come a long way in finding a solution and lets not get this whole process derailed because we are all getting tried and frustrated. It has been stated that the impact of seagrass wrack had been totally under estimated when the development was proposed so why do we continually follow the same processes hoping to achieve a different outcome. Our group, the residents and the public were looking at the study to identify and evaluate different approaches to these issues West and East of the development but clearly it has fallen short in its objectives, as we all know the issues we are faced with and what we requested was evaluating and suggesting solutions that meets all our objectives and not just confirmation of the issues and requesting that we accept a situation whereby the Western beaches are turned into a mine site at the times residents expect their amenity available for use.

I believe for us to go forward we must all agree on the following that whatever methods are adopted it must deliver these outcomes:- 

  1. The Harbour entrance is to remain open and navigable at all times.
  2. The re-establishment of the beaches West and East of the development back to their pre-development condition prior to the October School holidays each year and any Seagrass Wrack Management and Sand bypassing will not extend beyond Guerin Street as the current temporary extension to the deed allows.
  3. Annual works programs must be submitted, endorsed and approved by all parties by the 1st May each year, detailing the outcomes including the conditions the beaches and water quality will be left in and not just stipulating sand bypassing volumes.

Should any delays occur with breakdowns or adverse weather conditions appropriate contingency plans are in place to ensure works are completed in accordance with item 2.  

Could you please advise whether you agree with these items and that this is your understanding of what is required? 

Yours sincerely

Peter Maccora


Port Geographe Action Group Inc

PO Box 1388

Busselton WA 6280


Cc by fax to;

Luke Saraceni - 93222488

Adele Farina – 97548633

Dr Mike Paul - 92051340

Peter Meagher - 93869722

Mark Goodlet - 97524958

Kevin Douglas - 97554397

Cleve Flottmann - 92168983

Julia Lawson - 93221598



Below is feedback provided by PGAG to the coastal engineers on their progress reports produced as record of works undertaken

From: Peter Maccora
Sent: Wednesday, 7 September 2005 4:57 PM
To: 'Dave Bobridge'
Cc: Steve O'Brien; Adele Farina; Cleve Flottmann; Julia Lawson; Luke Saraceni; Mark Goodlet; Peter Meagher; Rebecca Prior; Rick Shortland; VMS Contractors
Subject: RE: Port Geographe - Progress Report on 2005 Works Program - Questions


Hi Dave,


I have some concerns in relation to the report on the works program, these concerns are listed below:-


It is noted that this year’s works are the third year of a program over several years to address the Removal of Accumulated Seagrass Wrack and Sand Bypassing at Port Geographe. – this is not correct, all accumulated wrack was removed as part of the extended works carried out in late summer 20005, the seagrass wrack now residing in the trap area this is nothing more than this years seasons accumulation.

Outcomes of the previous works were summarised in the Report to August 2004, which was distributed by email on 10 March 2004 (MRA email Ref No 237/04). This document may be viewed at – You might note that previous correction to these reports highlighted by us, have not been made to the reports posted at this website.


This year’s early start to stockpiling and trucking has given varying results. It has highlighted that the timing of future works will need to be carefully considered based on the results of this year’s works. – This statement (read in conjunction with other statements) appears to indicate that foul weather is the most significant factor and a latter start would be more appropriate… This is not the case as noted in the photo's sent today and what has been learnt in relation to the lateral drift of sand from west to east during the winter months.


The negative side of the works is related to the seagrass clean up. Recent storms have been replenishing the seagrass at a significant rate. – again not true all that has occurred is the lateral drift of seagrass already accumulated and deposited on the beaches from west to east, not replenishing, but moving or shifting from west to east.


VMS have advised that “when we are confronted with storms our work becomes ineffective and areas we have been removing seagrass from can have 3 to 5m of seagrass added to it in one night.” In some locations there is “15m of 2m deep soup (seagrass) that we must rely on nature to shift as its volume

and density would make it unrealistic to shift by machine.” – This statement from VMS is in direct contradiction to the paragraph above. Ie; – “VMS contractors have advised that “the areas we had removed sand and weed from stayed clean in the storm, at least so far”. – and therefore needs to be clarified or removed. – it can’t be both !


Target and Actual Production Rates for Trucking, Dredging and Combined are reported graphically in the attached Figure 1 – Actual trucking rates are not shown in this graph



Following discussions between Seaport Pty Ltd (the Project Managers for the works) and the Port Geographe Action Group, the following has been agreed to increase the production rates of the trucking regime:

Additional capacity to be provided until Saturday 8 October (end of school holidays) – We actually discuss the area being opened for the whole month of October



Peter Maccora
Port Geographe Action Group




From: South West Safety Services [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, 9 June 2005 1:23 AM
To: '[email protected]'
Cc: 'Peter Maccora'; 'TODD JOHNSON'; 'Mike Paul'; 'Mark Goodlet'; 'Adele Farina'; 'Bruce Lorimer'; 'Cleve Flottmann'; 'LAWSON Julia'; 'Luke Saraceni'; 'Peter Meagher'
Subject: RE: Port Geographe - Report on Works Commenced May 2005 - Cleanout of Material Trap Area


Dear David,

After reviewing this report, I believe there is a need for further information to be added to its contents and clarification / correction on the intent of these works. 

I feel it is most important that the learning here is not lost. That is to say, by excavating in this area when they did, and in the manner they did, in 03 and 04, it caused a bigger problem with weed backfilling this area in the winter of 04 and the inability to reach the accumulation of weed in this area of the Material Trap (which is proven not to naturally disperse), in the summer of 04.

It was also acknowledged at our meeting in Perth that this area will always need mechanical intervention to remove / manage this accumulation (ie; not naturally disperse) as long as the current breakwaters remain in their current configuration and sand bypassing is carried out adjacent to the Western Breakwater.

The unknown is,

I have added to your report (below in blue) what I recall as being a fair recollection of our discussions in relation to this issue at our meeting in Perth, and the principles that were agreed should provide a more effective method of coastal management in the short term, while we await Dr Paul’s findings and recommendations.

 Our reference: J492:DAB:Letter June 2005

8 June 2005





1. Introduction

The suggested 2005 Coastal Management Works Program was discussed at a workshop on 16 March 2005 held at the offices of Saracen Properties. Following input from several of the stakeholders, it was determined that there was merit in removing decaying seagrass wrack from the Material Trap Area immediately adjacent to the toilet block as this area remained inaccessible after 2004 works and could not be cleared due to the unstable material trapped. This area was substantially pulled back as part of works undertaken in 2003 and again in 2004. Seagrass Material did not clear from this deeply excavated area. Further, it is now seen as an area where machine access will need to be made available, so sea wrack management can better maintained in this area.

Material excavated from this area This material was then to be replaced with clean sand excavated from the western beach towards Guerin Street. The intent of this work was to remove odorous decaying seagrass wrack, and to create a sand infill wedge shape in the corner of the trap that would provide access to the main body of sea wrack known to accumulate in this area and not to naturally disperse from this area. This would then allow machine access to remove the bulk of this weed before the end of our winter cycle.

Working behind a barrier of weed, the bulk of the accumulated wrack would be trucked to the east of Wonnerup for deposit, awaiting the equinoctial gales in late August, early September to clear from the Wonnerup beach naturally. Any remaining wrack within the Material Trap Area (ie the barrier) is expected to find its way closer onshore and in the corner of the Material Trap Area through natural process and final winter storms. This method should realise a reduced amount of sea wrack trapped in this area which will reduce the issue of disposing of it during a weather cycle that does not accommodate for its natural removal (this material to be trialled as ‘amour’ for sand bypassed to Wonnerup and acting as a ‘natural spur’ on the Eastern Breakwater), and would reduce time taken to gain access to sand in the Material Trap Area for bypassing in late September, with realignment of the trap area completed by October, inturn preparing the trap area for sand accretion with the impending summer weather pattern. may assist in natural removal of seagrass wrack from the beach, or at least reduce the amount that remains following winter and requires removal by other methods.

 Initially it was this programmed was to be undertaken this work in July 2005. However, following a joint site inspection on 8 April 2005 attended by Todd Johnson (VMS Contractors), Steve O'Brien (PGJV) and David Bobridge (M P Rogers & Associates), it was assessed that given the current state of the area it would be advantageous to undertake this work prior to winter storms.

 VMS Contractors subsequently prepared a detailed scope of works and cost estimate for this activity. The scope of works was advised to stakeholders in our email of 6 May 2005 (MRA Ref No 585/05). A copy of this scope of works is attached as Attachment 1.

 2. Summary of Works Completed in this Period

Works to Clean Out the Material Trap Area commenced on 16 May 2005 and were completed by 7 June 2005. These works included:

VMS Contractors

This work included re-establishing access tracks and turnarounds, erecting fencing and signage to restrict public access, (I would personally have to question this statement. Ie; the barricading was insufficient, not adequate and not as advised) excavating and stockpiling of sand on the western beach near Guerin Street as well as excavating the Material Trap Area. Initial excavations at the Trap Area indicated significant amounts of sand as well as seagrass wrack in varying proportions. Some of the sand material was easily separated from the seagrass wrack and was therefore stockpiled for reuse. This material was blended with clean sand transported from further along the beach. It was then pushed back to fill in the Trap Area.

Approximately 12,000 m3 of sand was trucked down to the Trap Area and blended with about 6,000 m3 of sand from the Trap Area. This material displaced the seagrass wrack material in front that reduced the amount of seagrass wrack that required transporting and disposal at Wonnerup. Test holes were regularly excavated to ensure that this was occurring rather than just burying the existing seagrass wrack. Approximately 70m3 of seagrass wrack was disposed at the Wonnerup boat ramp. Several members of the public raised objections with the Shire of Busselton regarding this work, and following discussions with Mr Bruce Lorimer of the Shire of Busselton, the contractor disposed of the balance of the material (approximately 200 m3) at the seagrass wrack “groyne structure” used during 2004 works.

Following completion of the work, the contractor cleaned up the area which included recovering of access roads, levelling of beach excavation and fill areas and removal of fences. Some works were carried at Wonnerup to reduce slope angles of existing placed materials, fencing and signage to improve public safety. Minor delays in completing the works were caused on Thursday 2 June when the contractor’s equipment was moved further west to assist CALM in efforts to rescue whales stranded on the beach. Works were substantially completed by Saturday 4 June with minor cleanup occurring on Tuesday 7 June. The cost of works completed was approximately $63,500 (excluding GST).

 3. Enquiries and Complaints Register

In accordance with the Management Plan, the Principal and the Contractor monitor the works. An Enquiries & Complaints Register is maintained at The Port Geographe Project & Sales Office. 

In this period only one complaint was received by Steve O’Brien regarding aspects of the works. Details are contained in the attached Register of Enquiries & Complaints. However, there were a number of direct contacts with the Contractor whose contact details were also provided in Newspaper Advertisements and a Letter Drop to nearby residents. The contractor responded by undertaking the required actions to do with fencing and erection of signage at public access ways to restrict public access to the works area, and in relocating the disposal point for seagrass wrack following approaches by the Shire of Busselton. 



Vince Beard.


Port Geographe Action Group




Below is a request for your comment as part of the coastal management study being undertaken. NOW is your opportunity to express your concerns and provide input into how you believe this area should be best managed.



Pasted below are the final 'conceptual' drawings for the Wonnerup works.



Please find imbedded below preliminary working drawings relating to the proposed works to be undertaken at Wonnerup Beach. The PGAG supports these proposed works and is seeking your comment.

The PGAG recognises these works are a vital part of providing protection and better stabilisation to this area of the coast impacted by the groyne fields of the Port Geographe marina development.

Further, it is also recognised that any delay in being granted approval from the governing bodies for these proposed works may leave Wonnerup at risk again in the winter of 2006 and future years.

Given these works and change to the beach profile at Wonnerup need to be first approved by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), part of this approval process is to seek public consultation.

In order to assist facilitating a 'speedy' assessment and approval of these proposed works, the PGAG is seeking your comment, and to this end has agreed to assist in facilitating a consultation process of its members by coordinating resident and interested parties comment.

We urge you to please take the time to put finger to keyboard, or pen to paper. You might consider the following areas in your response;

Please send your e-mail replies to [email protected] or via surface mail to 337 Marine Tce Busselton 6280. These will then compiled and provided to the developer in support of their submission. Please aim to have your comments in by no later than April 30th.

Finally, please be advised, this initiative is not part of a formal community consultation process that may be required by the involved government bodies, but is intended to provide an example to those involved bodies that consultation has already begun.


Vince Beard.


Port Geographe Action Group





7th April 2005

Below is the proposed works program for 2005-2006.


J492 Port Geographe 2005 Coastal Management Works                                                                                                              
Suggested Program - Revised 18/03/05 Following Workshop 16/03/05         Week Ending / Week No                                                                                          
Item Activity   3-Apr 10-Apr 17-Apr 24-Apr 1-May 8-May 15-May 22-May 29-May 5-Jun 12-Jun 19-Jun 26-Jun 3-Jul 10-Jul 17-Jul 24-Jul 31-Jul 7-Aug 14-Aug 21-Aug 28-Aug 4-Sep 11-Sep 18-Sep 25-Sep 2-Oct 9-Oct 16-Oct 23-Oct 30-Oct 6-Nov 13-Nov 20-Nov 27-Nov 4-Dec 11-Dec 18-Dec 25-Dec Estimated Quantities m3 NOTES
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39                              
1 NATURAL ACCRETION - Seagrass Wrack deposition on beaches by natural forces of ocean and storms                     NATURAL ACCRETION                                                          
2 NATURAL REMOVAL - Seagrass Wrack removal from beaches by natural forces of ocean, wind and waves                                           NATURAL REMOVAL                                          
3 Prepare 2005 MANAGEMENT PLAN (including Traffic Management Plan)                                                                                                               
4 Comments/Approvals from Shire, DPI and DOE                                                                                                              
5 SLURRY PUMP TRIAL                                                                                     Item 5  -  Negotiations currently underway to source appropriate equipment.  Trial subject to satisfactory outcome of negotiations.  It may be required to purchase and fabricate required equipment.  This may delay indicative program.          
5.1 Mobilise and setup                                                                                                              
5.2 4 Week trial                                                                                                              
                                                                                        Item 5 - Slurry pump trial to pump sand alone, and sand/seagrass mix of various proportions.  For the trial, material to be accessed from material trap area and discharged to the western pocket beach.  Review program based on outcomes of trial.          
5.3 Target Production Rates ('000m3)                                                                                 5,000 m3 nom.                            
5.3.1 Weekly                       1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25                                                                                
5.3.2 Cumulative                       1.25 2.50 3.75 5.00                                                                                
6 STICK RAKE                                                                                     Item 6  -  Stick Rake to break up weed frontage to enhance natural removal.
6.1 Available on needs basis during winter/ spring                                                                                                              
7 TRUCKING                                                                                                              
7.1 Site establishment - site huts, fencing, traffic signage etc.                                                                                                              
7.2 Reestablish access off Guerin Street                                                                                                              
7.3 Reestablish turnaround areas for disposal of sand to Wonnerup                                                                                                              
7.4 Establish turnaround area for disposal of seagrass east of Wonnerup