Wyndham council has approved a $3 million master plan for the K Road cliffs, after investigations found erosion at the site “needs to be rectified as a matter of priority to preserve the cliffs and ensure the safety of visitors”.
Council gave the master plan a tick of approval last month, with the aim of reducing erosion and enhancing natural vegetation, habitat and ecology at the site.
The master plan states that erosion of the cliffs has continued since 2014, “as evidenced by tension cracks at the top of the cliffs”.
It attributed the cracks to existing road-side drainage swales, which are too flat to drain effectively, and stated that material accumulation and “insufficient maintenance” had contributed to blockages.
This has resulted in water from adjoining properties, the road reserve and carpark “flowing uncontrollably over the ground surface and down the cliff face, causing the eroded channels and tunnelling that is destabilising the cliffs and may lead to sections of the cliffs falling into the river”.
The master plan outlines that all site stormwater be re-directed to surface drainage along the west edge of K Road in an effort to halt further erosion.
A new pipe system is also recommended for installation along the east side of K Road, to transport water to the existing river outfall at the southern end of the cliffs’ site.
The master plan includes construction of a new fence eight metres from the cliff-face, and for visitors to be kept out of this area, as this is the zone that is “most at risk of collapse”.
It also suggests planting prickly shrubs to discourage people from climbing on the cliffs.
The K Road Cliffs site is owned by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, but the council has managed the site for many years under an informal agreement.
A council report stated that the cost of implementing the master plan would be about $3.042 million.
The council has allocated $880,000 funding for drainage works at the K Road Cliffs, and will seek further funding from the state government.