Victorian Minister for Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio has visited Inverloch—an emerging frontline of the crisis—to survey dramatic coastal erosion from intensifying storm surges and rising sea levels.
Act on Climate can confirm the Minister’s fact-finding trip occurred on Friday May 3 with Jordan Crugnale MP, just days after an ABC News report on Inverloch’s plight featuring the work of local citizen scientist Aileen Vening.
"It’s a relief that what I’ve been recording and talking about for several years is now finding a wider audience," said Vening.
"Unfortunately it has taken the loss of such huge amounts of sand, which means infrastructure is under threat, to make authorities act.”
“This delay has made it so much more difficult and costly to make action effective," added Vening.
Bass Coast resident Aileen Vening has monitored the Inverloch surf beach since 2012 and documented 36 metres of erosion. The dramatic changes in Inverloch has seen fixed lifesaving towers abandoned.
Local councillors have told Act on Climate that it is only a matter of time before a local road and Surf Life Saving Club are compromised.
Aileen Vening was pleased Minister for Climate Change Lily D'Ambrosio has seen the climate impacts for herself:
"What is happening at the Inverloch surf beach is another ‘canary in the coal mine’ event," said Vening.
"The impacts spill over to effects on local tourism and business, wildlife habitats as well as potentially on residences."
"The longer the government takes to implement effective climate change policies, the greater the cost and the risk that they won’t be successful."
Friends of the Earth say the Minister for Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio's visit to a frontline of climate change is an act of leadership:
“Inverloch is among the first communities in Victoria to see the impacts of climate change, but it won’t be the last,” said Leigh Ewbank, Act on Climate coordinator.
“The government must prioritise frontline communities in its response to the climate crisis.”
The Minister’s fact-finding trip will enhance the Labor government’s understanding of climate impacts as it resumes its decision-making process on the state’s first interim Emissions Reduction Targets.
The Andrews government has until March 31 next year to set Emissions Reduction Targets for 2025 and 2030.
Friends of the Earth analysis features in The Age showed the Andrews government must commit to bold and ambitious action on climate this year or Victoria will miss its 2050 target of zero-net emissions by over a decade.
With Australia's emissions increasing on the Federal Coalition's watch, we need the Victorian Labor government to show greater leadership on the climate crisis to help put the country back on track and avoid runaway climate change.