Our Coastal Future - Port Beach

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Sand nourishment via dredge project to address coastal erosion at Port Beach.

After extensive community engagement and collaboration with Fremantle Ports and other State government agencies, work will soon begin at Port Beach to address coastal erosion.

In March 2019, we asked for community input to help shape the assessment of coastal management options and inform a concept plan to address coastal erosion in the Port Beach locality. In 2019, a coastal adaptations report prepared for Port Beach compared five options to protect Port Beach. After detailed analysis sand nourishment via dredge was the highest ranked option.

In 2020, the State government announced a $3.25m WA Recovery Plan grant to implement a sand nourishment via dredge project at Port Beach and subsequent detailed technical investigations and design have recently been completed.

The project working team between City, Fremantle Ports and Department of Transport is currently completing investigations and modelling required to progress the approvals process to implement the sand nourishment via dredge project.

The project will be delivered in two phases:

  • Phase 1 - to prepare Port Beach for the sand nourishment via dredge program, the City will shortly undertake screening of sand within Sandtrax Beach and the southern 200m of Port Beach, south of Tydeman Road, to remove small rocks and excavate and remove large rock from remnant from the defunct seawall.
  • Phase 2 - to supply suitable sand for beach nourishment at Port Beach, 150,000m3 of sand will be dredged from the Fremantle Ports Deep Water Channel and placed onto Port Beach. The works will involve marine based machinery transporting the dredged sand from the Fremantle Ports Deep Water Channel, with land-based equipment working on the beach to manage receival of the sand and construction of the beach profile. It is anticipated this program of works will commence at the end of summer 2022.


Phase 1 - site works scheduled to commence October 2021

The City has recently engaged a contractor to undertake the sand screening and removal of the remnant seawall. After the preparation of the necessary management plans, works are anticipated to commence at the end of August 2021, taking approximately 4 weeks to complete.

This is a complex project and the City will be working with the contractor and broader project team to minimise impacts on all stakeholders and visitors to Port Beach throughout the project.

For more background information on coastal erosion at Port Beach or for more details on the sand nourishment via dredge project, please refer to our FAQs.

To receive regular project updates, we encourage you to join our mailing list.


An evolving coastline...

This area has undergone substantial changes since the late 1800s with significant impacts from urban development altering the coastline. Port Beach is essentially an artificial beach that was shaped by the early construction work associated with the Fremantle Harbour and Fremantle Port.

The area has continued evolving over the decades, including the more recent Rous Head extension and realignment of Port Beach Road. Various historical uses and developments have resulted in hard infrastructure surrounding Port Beach.

Port Beach is one of Fremantle’s popular beaches, accessed by locals and visitors year round. To browse the history of Port Beach and how it has changed over time, browse the slideshow below.

Historical data confirms that coastal processes such as wind, currents and waves, as well as sea level rise, have contributed to erosion at Port Beach over the last 23 years. The most recent event in 2018 caused significant damage with the receding shoreline compromising the Port Beach car park.

All coastal local governments are required by state planning policy to identify potential coastal hazards and plan for risk management and adaptation. The City of Fremantle coastal hazard assessment carried out in 2016 and 2017 identified the Port Beach area, including Sandtrax Beach, is highly vulnerable to immediate and future coastal erosion. You can find out more in the Port, Leighton and Mosman Beaches Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Plan (CHRMAP).



Sand nourishment via dredge project to address coastal erosion at Port Beach.

After extensive community engagement and collaboration with Fremantle Ports and other State government agencies, work will soon begin at Port Beach to address coastal erosion.

In March 2019, we asked for community input to help shape the assessment of coastal management options and inform a concept plan to address coastal erosion in the Port Beach locality. In 2019, a coastal adaptations report prepared for Port Beach compared five options to protect Port Beach. After detailed analysis sand nourishment via dredge was the highest ranked option.

In 2020, the State government announced a $3.25m WA Recovery Plan grant to implement a sand nourishment via dredge project at Port Beach and subsequent detailed technical investigations and design have recently been completed.

The project working team between City, Fremantle Ports and Department of Transport is currently completing investigations and modelling required to progress the approvals process to implement the sand nourishment via dredge project.

The project will be delivered in two phases:

  • Phase 1 - to prepare Port Beach for the sand nourishment via dredge program, the City will shortly undertake screening of sand within Sandtrax Beach and the southern 200m of Port Beach, south of Tydeman Road, to remove small rocks and excavate and remove large rock from remnant from the defunct seawall.
  • Phase 2 - to supply suitable sand for beach nourishment at Port Beach, 150,000m3 of sand will be dredged from the Fremantle Ports Deep Water Channel and placed onto Port Beach. The works will involve marine based machinery transporting the dredged sand from the Fremantle Ports Deep Water Channel, with land-based equipment working on the beach to manage receival of the sand and construction of the beach profile. It is anticipated this program of works will commence at the end of summer 2022.


Phase 1 - site works scheduled to commence October 2021

The City has recently engaged a contractor to undertake the sand screening and removal of the remnant seawall. After the preparation of the necessary management plans, works are anticipated to commence at the end of August 2021, taking approximately 4 weeks to complete.

This is a complex project and the City will be working with the contractor and broader project team to minimise impacts on all stakeholders and visitors to Port Beach throughout the project.

For more background information on coastal erosion at Port Beach or for more details on the sand nourishment via dredge project, please refer to our FAQs.

To receive regular project updates, we encourage you to join our mailing list.


An evolving coastline...

This area has undergone substantial changes since the late 1800s with significant impacts from urban development altering the coastline. Port Beach is essentially an artificial beach that was shaped by the early construction work associated with the Fremantle Harbour and Fremantle Port.

The area has continued evolving over the decades, including the more recent Rous Head extension and realignment of Port Beach Road. Various historical uses and developments have resulted in hard infrastructure surrounding Port Beach.

Port Beach is one of Fremantle’s popular beaches, accessed by locals and visitors year round. To browse the history of Port Beach and how it has changed over time, browse the slideshow below.

Historical data confirms that coastal processes such as wind, currents and waves, as well as sea level rise, have contributed to erosion at Port Beach over the last 23 years. The most recent event in 2018 caused significant damage with the receding shoreline compromising the Port Beach car park.

All coastal local governments are required by state planning policy to identify potential coastal hazards and plan for risk management and adaptation. The City of Fremantle coastal hazard assessment carried out in 2016 and 2017 identified the Port Beach area, including Sandtrax Beach, is highly vulnerable to immediate and future coastal erosion. You can find out more in the Port, Leighton and Mosman Beaches Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Plan (CHRMAP).



  • Phase 1 - Site Works Commence October, 2021

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    The City has recently engaged a contractor for phase 1 and works are anticipated to commence from early October 2021, taking approximately 4 – 8 weeks to complete.


    What to expect?

    For the safety of the public and to minimise disruption, a series of safety measures and construction management plans have been put in place including:

    • Works will be carried out between the hours of 7am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

    • Sections of the southern car park, main car park and beach access points will be closed to the public to enable the safe movement of construction vehicles to and from the works area.

    • The program of works will commence at Sandtrax Beach and move in a northwards direction, with the work site barricaded at all times for the safety of beach users.

    • The works will involve earthworks machinery and a sand screening plant working on the beach and shifting material to stockpiles located in the closed areas of carpark. There will also be trucks entering and leaving the site from time to time.


    Whilst public safety measures will be put in place, visitors to Port Beach will still be able to access open areas of the beach and water during the program of works and outside of construction hours.


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  • Coastal Adaptation Options Report

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    by Rhiannon,

    You can access the Port Beach Coastal Adaptation Options Report by visiting the document library or clicking here. Please note the large file size.

  • Details of Council Item

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    by Rhiannon,

    The Council item on 11 December will present the Port Beach Coastal Adaptation Options Report (2019), and recommends adopting a policy position of managed retreat as the preferred strategy for responding to coastal erosion risk at Port Beach and Leighton Beach, noting managed retreat is implemented over an extended timeframe.

    It also recommends the City progress with the Coastal Adaptation and Protection grant funded project to implement the recommendations made in the Report (2019) to resolve the preferred concept and funding arrangements that will address coastal erosion risk up to 2040.

    Full details of the recommendation can be found in the agenda: www.fremantle.wa.gov.au/council/agendas-and-minutes

    Managed Retreat
    The City proposes a managed retreat strategy for Port Beach that includes consideration of the impacts on adjacent beaches and existing infrastructure and advocates for appropriate planning mechanisms to support the strategy. It would be implemented over an extended timeframe to ensure that social, environmental and economic costs are minimised.

    The managed retreat strategy would include:
    • Removal of City assets in the erosion risk zone.
    • Provision of City assets to meet public recreation amenity requirements on an interim basis while longer term planning is undertaken. Assets will have a defined design life and ability relocate once risk becomes intolerable and will be subject to budget considerations.
    • Engagement with the Western Australian Planning Commission on the preparation of a precinct plan for the area to resolve coastal setbacks, transport and access, recreation needs, landscape and land use with a view to establishing an enduring and sustainable beach, and advancing integrated planning for this.
    • Phasing of actions with reference to the current and immediate risks, implementation of a final coastal adaptation option to 2040 and planning and implementation to support a post-2040 scenario.


  • Council decision

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    by Rhiannon,

    Council item

    An report addressing the current extreme coastal hazard and risk management actions for Port Beach and a progress update on recommendations is going to the Ordinary Council meeting on 11 December 2019.

    The full report is now available on the City's website.


    Council meeting details

    This item will be presented at the Ordinary Council Meeting Wednesday 11 December 2019, 6.00pm at the North Fremantle Community Hall, 2 Thompson Rd North Fremantle.

    View the agenda by clicking here or visiting: www.fremantle.wa.gov.au/council/agendas-and-minutes

    Members of the public are welcome to ask a question, make a statement or just observe the proceedings at open Council and committee meetings. To find out more see the community participation section on the City of Fremantle website: www.fremantle.wa.gov.au/council/mayor-and-councillors/council-and-committee-meetings

  • Analysis & Next Steps

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    by Rhiannon,

    The Port Beach Values survey outcomes and considerations of stakeholders of both the beach and surrounding infrastructure were assessed alongside a range of criteria such as technical feasibility. This was combined into a multi-criteria analysis (MCA) to evaluate coastal risk management options.

    The sustainable retention of the beach has come into focus through the study and has raised a number of issues which required further, coordinated investigation to create a long term plan for the sustainable management of the coastal reserve.

    The City is encouraged by the work so far and is exploring all options and finalising the analysis. A report to Council is being prepared and is anticipated to go to the November 2019 committee and Council meetings. All participants and those who have registered will be updated when the agenda is ready and this page will be updated with the latest news.


  • Survey Report

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    by Rhiannon,

    Thank you to everyone who completed the Port Beach Values Survey. We received 214 responses and the results can be accessed here.

Page last updated: 28 September 2021, 11:01