In a bizarre turn of events, Kingscliff retailers report that media coverage of beach erosion has resulted in an increase in visitors, who are keen to have a look at the damage near the surf club.
According to new Cudgen SLSC president Adam Mills, the number of ‘erosion tourists’ was so large he wished the club had an outlet to sell coffee and snacks to visitors, as it would have made a tidy profit.
Heavy storms that battered the Tweed’s coastline over Christmas may have helped change a decade-old council policy not to install ‘terminal walls’ at its beaches, he believes.
When Tweed Shire Council suggested a terminal/rock wall be built at Kingscliff some 10 years ago, the community’s opinion halted plans.
But the Christmas erosion at Kingscliff removed another four metres of sand from the beach north of Cudgen Surf Lifesaving Club and Mr Mills said it may also have removed community opposition to the building of a terminal wall.
Mr Mills said although some sand returned to the beach south of the clubhouse, the areas in front and north of the clubhouse had lost sand and he feared a lot more time would pass before improvements became apparent.
All work done by council over the past 18 months was undertaken in response to emergencies and although this work was crucial and saved the clubhouse from disaster, it interfered with efforts to come up with more long-term solutions to the erosion and return sand to the affected areas, Mr Mills said.
The Water Resource Laboratory and their coastal experts (a business arm of the University of NSW) are preparing a draft report on the erosion issue and the possible erection of a rock wall to safeguard the natural assets currently under threat.
The draft report is due early this year and will provide council with options for a terminal wall, should it be deemed appropriate.
A spokesperson said council planned to consult the community before work on a rock wall would go ahead.
Meanwhile, Gold Coast City Council is investing heavily in the protection of its beaches which withstood the big tides over Christmas.
The council is investing $6 million to manage the 52-kilometre stretch of coastline, a big tourism earner, this financial year.
Some of the key projects being undertaken include beach nourishment offshore from Surfers Paradise, and contributing to the sand bypassing project at the Tweed River entrance. In November, the annual dredging campaigns in Currumbin and Tallebudgera creeks were completed, and a section of seawall at Marine Parade, Miami, was finished.
Image: Josh and Sam Lake subscribe to the ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ theory. Others at Kingscliff are considerably more concerned about the current beach erosion. Photo Jeff ‘Budgie-Jumping’ Dawson