Roches Beach access

Roches Beach has been identified as the most vulnerable site in Tasmania to coastal erosion and inundation due to low level dunes and limited sand volume. This area is identified as being at risk of immediate coastal erosion for a present day 1 in 100 year storm event. Erosion of the dune on Roches Beach will result in inundation of the land behind the dune.

Following the storm event in July 2011, Council engaged Water Research Laboratory (University of NSW) to inspect Roches Beach and Cremorne Beach to identify a priority list of works to help remediate the site and protect resident’s properties and infrastructure (Council facilities, NBN, water main, sewer). The site was identified as requiring additional volume and height of dunes.

WRL recommended dune reconstruction as a first priority to avoid immediate erosion and overtopping. The dune reconstruction was to be designed to meet the target dune crest height of 3 metres (Australian Height Datum).

In 2012 Council took action to build up the low points in the dunes. Two significant projects were completed to remove low points in the dunes along Roches Beach using large amounts of sand. This work has improved protection of the properties behind the dunes.

In March 2014, Council approved the construction of the proposed sand dune and Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant access at Lauderdale Canal on to Roches Beach.

After concerns from some members of the public regarding the loss of access for kayaks, canoes and dinghies, Council investigated options to provide beach access for these watercraft near the previous access.

Following a public information session on Wednesday 6 December, Council invited members of the community to provide feedback on these options. The options were:

  • Option 1 – North of previous access – near the existing toilet block
  • Option 2 – At the previous access
  • Option 3 – South of previous access – near the proposed new toilet block

Option 2 was endorsed by council at a meeting on 26 February 2018.

James Burbury, engineer, was engaged to assess the three beach access options near the previous access, as adopted by council’s Notice of Motion at its meeting of 16 October 2017.  In his assessment of the options he has noted:

  • The design is not intended to be a formal boat ramp, but to provide beach access;
  • Therefore the design criteria should not confirm with the Australian Standards for boat ramps or local recommendations (MaST);
  • Recommends the use of Flexmat – flexible concrete block mattresses, for the surface of the beach access.

Council reports

To view council reports on this project, view council agendas and minutes (26 February 2018, 27 November 2017).


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14 January 2019

Roches Beach access ramp construction will commence this week. The existing gravel car park and access here to the beach will be closed during construction. The beach can be accessed via the staircases on either side of the work site. The works will take approximately six weeks to complete, depending on weather and tide conditions.

13 December 2018

Council has gone through the quotation process and now appointed a contractor for the construction of the access ramp.

It is expected that the construction work will commence in the New Year. The gravel carpark adjacent to the beach will be closed during construction and access on the beach will be restricted at times.

Members of the public can access Roches Beach using the staircases either side of the existing gravel carpark.

Further updates on the timing of the construction will be provided on this page when we receive the contractor’s work program.

9 November 2018

Council has received planning approval for construction of the access point at Roches Beach. Quotations are being sought for undertaking the works.

16 August 2018

Initial drawings of the access point at Roches Beach have now received consent from Crown Land Services.

A development application has been submitted for consideration. Once all approvals have been obtained, tenders will be called for constructed.

7 August 2018

Initial drawings of the access point at Roches Beach required for planning approval have now been provided to Crown Land Services for approval.

10 July 2018

At a Council meeting on 4 June 2018, Council adopted the 2018-19 Annual Plan.

The Annual Plan includes funds to reinstate the access to Roches Beach at the existing access point (option 2). This option includes the removal of the existing timber ramp to install a new ‘flexmat’ (flexible concrete block mattress – Flexmat) surfaced ramp to the beach. The existing car park will be built up and level with the ramp to the dune crest.  The option was determined early this year following consultation with the community.

Currently coastal consultants are designing the access point. Initial drawings for planning approval are due this month and when received will be provided to Crown Land Services for approval. Once they have been approved, documentation will be submitted for Development Application. Once all approvals have been obtained, quotations will be called for construction.

We are endeavoring to have the access reinstated in readiness for summer, though we are reliant on timely attention from a number of parties external to council.