Revising the draft Stockton CMP with your help
The public exhibition period for the Stockton CMP closed at 5pm Wednesday 10 June 2020.
Thank you to everyone who provided feedback.
Community feedback will inform the draft Stockton CMP before it is finalised to be submitted to the NSW Government for certification.
Stockton Coastal Management Program
The Stockton Coastal Management Program (CMP) is a long-term strategy to manage the coastline between the Northern Breakwater of the Hunter River and Meredith Street, Stockton. The Stockton CMP has been developed in accordance with the objectives of the Coastal Management Act (2016).
The Newcastle CMP, which encompasses the entire Local Government Area (LGA) from Glenrock State Conservation Area in the south to the northern boundary of the Stockton Cemetery, will be completed before the NSW Government deadline of December 2021. On 17 February 2020, following numerous severe erosion events at Stockton, the NSW Government, directed City of Newcastle to prepare a specific CMP for Stockton by June 30, 2020.
City of Newcastle has worked closely with the Stockton community and other stakeholders in the development of this long-term plan for Stockton, and now we want to hear from the broader community. We've already caught up with a number of representatives from the Stockton Community Liaison Group who shared their thoughts on the program.
What's proposed by City of Newcastle?
City of Newcastle’s draft Stockton Coastal Management Program (CMP) has found mass sand nourishment from offshore sources as the only viable way to restore a beach for the community while protecting coastal assets from erosion.
The Stockton CMP says an initial marine sand nourishment campaign of 2.4 million cubic metres is required for beach amenity and asset protection, and also identifies actions to take within the next year to address immediate risks, while the NSW Government’s Stockton Erosion Taskforce determines a pathway for offshore sand nourishment.
Immediate actions include an initial sand nourishment program of 50,000 cubic metres from land-based (or other permissible) sources, while undertaking essential protection works to the ends of existing seawalls to address the imminent risk of losing property and community assets.
Overall, the Stockton CMP takes an adaptive approach, with recommended actions based on what is feasible, viable and acceptable for City of Newcastle and the community.
Frequently asked questions
The NSW Government has created a formalised process for coastal management, with coastal councils like City of Newcastle (CN) required to complete a Coastal Management Program (CMP) by December 2021.
CN is progressing a Stockton CMP in line with a direction from the Local Government Minister to a shortened timeframe of 30 June 2020. This direction was delivered to CN on 17 February 2020. The Stockton CMP will take an evidence-based approach to address the historic and ongoing erosion issues at Stockton which have been the subject of multiple investigations and attempted solutions over time.
The coast is a constantly changing environment. If we want to make good decisions, then we need them to be evidence-based. Using the most current data enables us to reach these resolutions with confidence for the future.
The Stockton CMP has now brought forward the most current, accurate and relevant data to be analysed for effective management decisions.For instance, one of our latest studies has told us the amount of sand that leaves Stockton annually, which is invaluable information in designing how we can protect Stockton with mass sand nourishment.
In addition, to make decisions for tomorrow we need to understand what will be at risk in the future. These investigations are outlined in the supporting document, C-Sediment Transport Study and Probabilistic Hazard Assessment Summary.
Not all sand is suitable for Stockton Beach. For example, harbour-dredged material is loaded with mud as well as coarser rocks and some sand washed down from the Hunter River catchment. This is unsuitable for beach nourishment.
The Stockton CMP contains a review of a range of marine and terrestrial (land) sand sources. The Sand Management Guideline developed alongside the Stockton CMP will enable appropriate sand to be utilised as it becomes available, such as from major projects requiring dredging.
In March 2020, the NSW Deputy Premier announced the formation of a Taskforce, to work together to address Stockton’s erosion issues and to consider funding options for long-term solutions.
The Taskforce will help secure the government agencies and coastal experts that are needed for the necessary investigations, and to navigate the approval, delivery and funding opportunities of marine-based mass sand nourishment for Stockton.
The Deputy Premier will Chair the Taskforce, which will also include the Lord Mayor and representatives from the City of Newcastle, the Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC), Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE), Department of Regional NSW, Port of Newcastle and the NSW Coastal Council.
Three community representatives will also hold positions on the Taskforce, along with the Member for Newcastle Mr Tim Crakanthorp MP.
All coastal councils in NSW are required to prepare a Coastal Management Program in line with the Coastal Management Act 2016 by December 2021.
The Newcastle CMP encompasses the entire Local Government Area (LGA) from Glenrock State Conservation Area in the south to the northern boundary of the Stockton Cemetery.
On 17 February 2020, following numerous severe erosion events at Stockton, the NSW Government, directed City of Newcastle to prepare a specific CMP for Stockton which is on public exhibition from 13 May to 10 June 2020. This is in line with the revised 30 June 2020 deadline from the Minister for the completion of the Stockton CMP.
To meet this new deadline, City of Newcastle is delivering a Stockton CMP which includes the area from the northern harbour breakwall and Meredith Street. The Stockton CMP will be revised and replaced by the wider Newcastle CMP before December 2021. The Newcastle CMP covers the whole LGA coastline including the area north of Meredith Street and the harbour estuary.
City of Newcastle plans to provide an initial 50,000 cubic metres of sand nourishment from local land (or other permissible) sources to provide targeted beach amenity and access. This will be done in conjunction with minimal, emergency extension works at either end, of each of the two existing seawalls (Mitchell Street and the SLSC,) to replace the temporary sandbags and protect critical assets, and services from immediate risk. There will also be a range of currently programmed maintenance undertaken including rock maintenance works on our existing seawalls and dune and accessway repairs.
City of Newcastle is committed to working with the Deputy Premier’s Taskforce and the NSW Government to explore all opportunities to source sand for mass beach nourishment that is affordable and suitable, with the goal to protect and preserve Stockton Beach.
It is the intent of the Stockton CMP to establish a pathway for the delivery of mass sand nourishment from marine offshore sources as a protection strategy that also enhances beach amenity and access. While not currently permissible, it is recognised as the most economically feasible and publicly acceptable solution.
CN will continue working with the Deputy Premier’s Taskforce to progress mass sand nourishment from marine sources, in addition to undertaking initiatives to streamline the processes to enable the delivery of opportunistic sand to Stockton.
City of Newcastle will monitor any further erosion or shoreline recession at Stockton and take emergency/preventative measures where necessary, such as sandbagging works. Emergency response
actions are outlined in the erosion plan contained in the Stockton CMP.
The Stockton CMP studies have identified hazard lines along the coast, and if erosion were to reach these thresholds it would trigger a review of the implementation of stage 2 works and risk exposure, against a range of criteria to prevent damage to coastal properties and assets.
Under current projections it is not expected for this threshold to be reached within the fiveyear Stockton CMP planning timeframe, during which time it is expected a pathway for mass nourishment would have been achieved.
The draft Stockton CMP considered many alternative structures in the investigation phase.
This included a large structure under the water that is placed offshore, to break the force of the waves. These are generally known as artificial reefs.
Groyne fields are usually rock structures built, at a 90 degree angle from the beach into the water and repeated along the foreshore. None of these structures were considered viable or effective in the delivery of protection and amenity for Stockton Beach. This was the case in the 2014 review (BMTWBM Newcastle Coastal Zone Management Study, 2014 available on the website) and again in 2020. The full investigation report can be viewed on the CN website here alongside the draft Stockton CMP.
Proposals, such as the northern headland, which could improve the performance of mass sand nourishment, will be considered in the development of the wider Newcastle CMP over the next year.
The Stockton Sediment Transport Study due for completion in 2020 will inform the Newcastle CMP development. The purpose of a northern headland would be to trap sand on its northern drift, to reduce the overall demand and cost for bringing new sand onto the beach. When considering this type of structure it is necessary to consider their long-term impacts, including bypassing of sand to avoid starving more northerly beach locations