Work to further protect Kingscliff’s erosion-battered foreshore resumes on Monday with contractors set to start building a 260-metre long rock wall north of the Cudgen Headland Surf Life Saving Club.
The dramatic new structure is set to permanently change the face of south Kingscliff beach.
Tweed shire councillors have decided to press ahead with the revetment (retaining wall), costing almost half a million dollars and set to take three weeks to build, to take advantage of a ‘tidal window’ between this weekend’s full-moon tides and the Easter holiday break when king tides are due.
The NSW surf lifesaving titles currently being held at Kingscliff Beach finish on Sunday
The extension of the existing wall in front of the surf club aims to protect the Kingscliff Beach Holiday Park – where a big slice of dunal land has been lost to recent erosion and several cabins had to be relocated – and join up with the wall in front of the Kingscliff Bowls Club.
At an extraordinary meeting yesterday, councillors agreed to accept a tender for $238,392 for 6,300 tonnnes of rocks from Boral Construction for the project, set to cost $469,734 in total.
The money will come from Tweed Coast Holiday Parks Reserves Trust income. Councillors in their role as trustees recently gave the green light to spend the money on the foreshore protection.
Mayor Barry Longland said while the new wall would protect the three community buildings on that part of the foreshore, erosion further north of the bowls club was ‘still an issue’ and council policy for that area at this stage was ‘planned retreat’.
But Cr Longland said he felt that ‘at some point’ council would resolve to change the policy, as ‘we don’t support a policy of planned retreat’.
The public caravan park at north Kingscliff Beach is at risk from further erosion, especially as existing and further rock revetment is expected to shift the problem further to the north.
Cr Longland said a revetment wall to protect the foreshore at both Kingscliff and Kingscliff north beaches would cost between $5 milion and $8 million.
He said the state government was yet to commit to more funding for the rock wall but talks were underway to enable state funds to be used on foreshore protection in the longer term.
Cr Longland said the issue of how council would address erosion in the short, medium and long term and fund further works was considered at the last council meeting.
At that meeting, a report by the NSW Coastal Panel and a letter by NSW environment minister Robyn Parker were tabled, both recommending council to consider a planned retreat from the Kingscliff foreshore as a longer-term option.
But in their response, Tweed councillors warned that a planned retreat option could threaten Kingscliff’s town centre in the medium term (to 2050).
Councillors also resolved to apply for state funding to undertake a socio-economic study of the proposed strategy for the long-term protection of Kingscliff Beach and developing a Tweed coastal management plan.
The coastal panel and minister recommended a combination of approaches in the short term and long term, with options to be ‘thoroughly investigated’ including a terminal seawall complemented by ongoing beach nourishment, a field of groynes –with or without beach nourishment – in the short term, and planned retreat in the long term.
The Minister also asked Tweed Council to work jointly with neighbouring
Byron Shire Council on a regional coastal processes study to help both council prepare their coastal zone management plans.