Bali’s Beaches are Public Land

On Tuesday, February 10, 2015, task force from the Buleleng Regency Government in North Bali supervised the demolishing a breakwater built by German expatriate Erents Erwin Baur in front of his property in the village of Anturan.


The German told the press that the removal of the breakwater caused him a loss of around Rp. 100 million (US$8,000) in addition to a Rp. 15 million (US$1,200) “donation” paid to a representative of the Aturan Village.

In demolishing the breakwater regency officials deployed a front loader to knock down the breakwater erected by the German to stop erosion of the beachfront in front of his villa.

As reported by NusaBali, Erents Baur and his Balinese wife, Komang Sutrani, were forced to stand by and idly watch demolition crews remove the breakwater. The couple admitted no small amount of confusion watching the destruction of the structure constructed at the invitation of local officials who suggested the breakwater would help  end beach erosion.

Also, at the suggestion of village officials, the breakwater was built to include stairs and a small bridge in order to permit free access to people walking up and down the beachfront. At the same time, the Anturan village head (Perbekel), Made Arsana, requested and received a donation of Rp. 15 million for the village.

Komang told the press: “My husband and I will ask about that donation because when we originally planned to remove the breakwater (at the request of the regency), we were told by the village that this was not necessary if we simply added a bridge and stairs. I was also asked to make the donation, which I did. But now the cement structure is being demolished. I have suffered losses.”

In response, the head of the Regency’s Enforcement Team (Satpol PP), Made Budi Astawa, said the demolishment of the breakwater was done on the basis of the evidence in hand. Baur’s breakwater was, according to Astawa, a clear violation of setback rules that do not allow construction of permanent structures near the high water mark that infringe on the public right-of-way along the beach. The official said that the destruction of the breakwater now allows local fishermen free access to the beach.

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