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May 16, 2021

Plan to dump sand at Kingy beach

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Changes to the Tweed River sand bypass project which some have blamed for ruining the world-renowned surf break at Kirra just north of the NSW-Queensland border by dumping too much sand on it, have been proposed by the project operators.

Dumping sand at Kingscliff Beach to offset erosion there will also looked into by the joint NSW-Queensland government working group overseeeing the multi-million-dollar sand-pumping project.

The plan, which aims to improve navigation at the Tweed River entrance, involves pumping dredged sand from the river mouth out to sea where currents carry it north to depleted Gold Coast beaches.

But over the years, beaches just north of the river became desert-like with too much sand buildup spoiling the famed tube-swells of Kirra in the process.

This week, the inter-governmental working group released a report on public consultation on both sides of the river over the project, saying it had chosen to pursue two of four options to improve the sand-bypassing system

The two options chosen are: to dispose dredged sand at deep water locations offshore between Point Danger and Coolangatta and occasionally along Bilinga and Tugun beaches; and to investigate ‘back passing’ to deliver some sand to the south of the Tweed River entrance at northern Letitia Beach.

Group chairperson Alison Stone said the first and most expensive option of a new sand-pumping outlet at North Kirra would not be taken up at this stage, but was not ruled out as a longer-term option. If used, she said it would be on a limited basis because of its impact on the sand supply to other beaches.

‘The Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project has made the river entrance safer to navigate and delivered sand to several southern Gold Coast beach and it’s important we build on the experience aimed through a decade of operation and get the next stage of the project right,’ Ms Stone said.

She said it was clear there was community concern about some of the proposed sand-disposal methods and they would take them on board as well as expert advice before starting detail investigation of the two options.

‘In addition, the governments have determined that they agree to the Tweed Shire Council investigating the option of removing sand from the Tweed River and placing it at Kingscliff to offset erosion after there were no objections raised during public consultation,’ Ms Stone said.

The full report can be read on www.tweedsandbypass.nsw.gov.au

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