ANZAC Day 2009 saw all the conditions line up for major beach erosion. Stormforce (120km per hour) southerly to westerly winds associated with a low pressure system centred over Bass Strait combined with a king tide to strip hundreds of thousands of tonnes of sand from the bay’s eastern beaches and foredunes.
Such storms have happened before, but are uncommon. As shown in the pic below, the storm washed away foredune plants (habitat) and threatened at least one indigenous archaeological site.
Like all things in nature, there are several factors contributing to the the damage. The 64 million dollar question is: to what extent did the increased higher high tides resulting from Channel Deepening at Port Phillip Heads contribute to the beach erosion?