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Adelaide quarries to give beaches new life


The South Australian Government will transport 250,000m3 of quarried sand to Adelaide’s West Beach, in the first step to replenishing the 10-year desolate shorefront.

As part of the SA Government’s $48.4 million Securing the Future of our Coastline project, the first sand instalment is only half of the resource intended for West Beach, just 10km from the Adelaide CBD. Up to 500,000 cubic metres (m3) of sand is planned in 2021-22.

The particular quarry sources for the sand were left unnamed but South Australia’s Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the project had multiple benefits.

“Starting in July we will deliver around 250,000m3 of sand to West Beach from quarries which will bring back the beach in time for summer later this year,” Speirs said.

“This is one of the most significant sand replenishment actions ever, and will provide an environmental, social and economic boost for the western suburbs.”

“We will continue to explore options for the other 250,000m3 to be delivered in the first half of 2022, as well as start construction of a sand pumping pipeline to secure the future of West Beach for the long-term – something the local community has for years been crying for.”

The pipeline will come as part of stage 2 of the government project and should commence in line with the original project outline.

As for the decision to use quarried sand, Speirs emphasised the availability, cost and environmental impacts compared to offshore dredging.

“There is a limited amount of sand in Adelaide’s beach system and to find a suitable external sand source for the large-scale beach replenishment, we’ve been investigating offshore sand deposits as well as land-based sources from quarries,” Speirs said.

“Investigations undertaken in 2020 found that offshore sand deposits at Port Stanvac were not a viable source of sand for beach replenishment. It’s too fine, and the silt and clay content is too high. The environmental risk during dredging is also just too high.”

Speirs ensured he covered concerns about large numbers of haul trucks, as is commonly raised with projects such as this.

“Adding a large volume of sand to West Beach will dramatically improve the quality of the beach, requiring a large number of truck movements to deliver the quarry sand,” Speirs said.

“We acknowledge the trucking can cause a disruption for local residents. However, by doing the hard work now during the colder months, we can ensure there’s sandy beaches ready for the whole community to enjoy come summertime.

“We will continue to work closely with the West Beach community during planning and delivery of the works to minimise disruption.”

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