City of Newcastle has welcomed a long-term plan to address erosion at Stockton Beach using large-scale sand nourishment.
Councils across NSW are preparing plans to manage coastal areas in line with the NSW Government’s Coastal Management Act 2016, with City of Newcastle working through COVID-19 isolation arrangements to meet an early deadline of 30 June 2020.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said a range of options would be considered, with sand nourishment the primary driver in line with community feedback and the support of the Deputy Premier’s new Stockton Taskforce.
“The Deputy Premier’s decision to form a Stockton Erosion Taskforce means City of Newcastle can outline a long-term plan based on sand nourishment, knowing the NSW Government is working in tandem with us to help cut the red tape and get suitable sand on the beach.
“The Taskforce takes some uncertainty out of the long-term planning for Stockton given the support provided to source suitable sand to replenish the beach and overcome regulatory hurdles across various government departments.
“The overwhelming call from the community is for a sandy beach where coastal roads, houses, parks and services are protected, and no more historical pollution is exposed through erosion. This will be reflected in our Coastal Management Program (CMP)
“The Taskforce outcomes to date will be included in the CMP. This progress is welcome news for the city and community.”
Deputy Premier John Barilaro visited Stockton with the Lord Mayor in March to announce the cross-departmental Taskforce to address erosion.
A spokesperson from the Deputy Premier’s office, provided a Taskforce update on the work underway to identify sand sources at the recent virtual Stockton Community Liaison Group meeting.
“There is some desktop work that’s already been done by the Department of Resources and Geoscience in terms of identifying areas where there might be suitable sand,” the spokesperson advised during the online video conference.
“There’s some good work which has been done by the department over the years, and they hope that by the end of this month they’ll have a very good idea as to where the best locations might be for investigation as source sand that would potentially be suitable for replenishment of Stockton Beach.”
Development of terms of reference and resource commitments for the Taskforce was underway and Mr Barilaro’s office also confirmed that discussions had begun to determine the necessary approvals to change the placement area, for the currently dredged sand from Newcastle Harbour, as a short-term measure to better replenish Stockton Beach near the Surf Life Saving Club.
A draft Coastal Management Program for Stockton will be on public exhibition from 13 May to 10 June, with all residents encouraged to have their say.