Media releases

Shire of Augusta Margaret River Councillors have endorsed a plan to that seeks to address community safety concerns at critical cliff sites along the Shire’s coastline.

A Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Plan which was developed in 2016 identified coastal hazards requiring detailed technical investigation across a number of sites.

In 2017, modifications were made to the stairs at Gracetown and Surfers Point to address risks of cliff collapse.

Further investigations undertaken since then provide a clear direction for the Shire to act in relation to other cliffs that pose ground instability or rock fall risk.

Sites include the coastal areas of Gracetown, Prevelly, and Gnarabup, with action staged over the next three financial years based on risk and priority of the work required.

Immediate action will see a temporary fence and signage installed at Riflebutts to caution community members about the risk of rockfall along the northern end of the beach and to restrict access. A permanent fence will be installed in early 2020.

Other signage will be immediately installed at Gnarabup and Surfers Point.

Underpinning to add support to cliff structures at the White Elephant Stairs in Gnarabup and at Surfers Point is also planned.

Shire President Ian Earl said the work will cost the Shire close to $380,000 over three years, but was much needed in the interest of community safety.

“Council was keen to endorse this action, so extra signage could be installed in time for the busy summer break.

“Community members should be informed on their local coastal areas by reading these cliff stability reports, and also by adhering to the warning signage displayed along the coastline.”

“Community safety is our concern, but every community member also has a responsibility for their own safety,” he said.

Shire officers will engage with coastal residents in the New Year, before further work is implemented.

For more information on works to occur at each site, community members are encouraged to visit

Contact for media questions is John McKinney, Landcare and Environment Coordinator on 9780 5255 or

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