A state government allocation of $100,000 to Tweed Shire Council to plan for the next stage of protection along the Kingscliff beachfront has been slammed in parliament as a ‘paltry’ amount.
Council says $75,000 of the grant would be spent on a number of studies looking at conditions along the beach, and the remaining $25,000 on updating the Tweed Coast Hazard Study.
While Tweed mayor Barry Longland said the funding showed the government was taking the erosion issue ‘seriously’, state Labor MLC Walt Secord told parliament this month that the government’s response to the problem was ‘disappointing’.
‘Estimates place the cost of protecting the coastline at about $8 million, but the O’Farrell government has promised to provide a paltry $100,000,’ Mr Secord said.
‘The O’Farrell government must start taking the issue of Kingscliff beach erosion seriously. I have visited the site with federal Richmond MP Justine Elliot and seen first hand the devastation. The Cudgen surf lifesaving club is in jeopardy.
‘Recent comments by the environment minister Robyn Parker also give rise to concerns that the state government is actually backing away from its support; I hope that is not the case.
‘I would like to see the state government provide a cheque to Tweed Shire Council to fix the problem; the community deserves that.’
But Cr Longland said once the studies were complete, the information would form the basis of a proposal to the state to provide more significant funding to address the erosion issues.
‘Hopefully the results of these studies will form part of the dialogue between Council and the state towards finding a permanent solution,’ he said.
Council’s natural resources management coordinator Jane Lofthouse said it was vital to
get an accurate picture of what is happening along the beach before planning could begin on the next stage of protection measures.
‘There are a number of studies that need to be done looking at things like the tides, sand movement and how the waves are being affected by the measures that have already been put in place,’ Ms Lofthouse said.
‘The next stage in the protection of the beach will require significant resources and we must ensure that before any money is spent it is going to be effective.’
Image: Work on a 260-metre long rock wall to further protect Kingscliff’s erosion-battered foreshore continued this week. The revetment wall, between the Cudgen Headland Surf Life Saving Club and Kingscliff Bowls Club, is costing almost half a million dollars and expected to be finished early next month before the Easter holiday break when king tides are due. Photo Jeff Dawson