Fingal Surf Club is under immediate threat from erosion after full moon tides and heavy surf caused massive loss of sand at the beach over the weekend, says federal Greens candidate for Richmond, Dawn Walker.
Ms Walker visited the Fingal Head Surf Club yesterday to see first hand the damage and to talk to members about their concerns.
‘There is understandably a lot of community concern about the extent of the erosion, with more high tides expected this week,’ she said.
‘I understand from the club that all the equipment has been moved out of the building and no staff are working in the clubhouse for the moment.
‘Surf club members are upset about the situation as they have put a lot of hard work and community money into redeveloping the clubhouse, which now appears to be threatened.
‘It is estimated Fingal Head has lost 17 metres of dune in front of the surf club since May with the dunes continuing to recede at an alarming rate. ‘The immediate hazard line which is shown on the 2011 coastal erosion hazard zoning map of the Tweed Development Control Plan runs through the middle of the SLSC building, so that is a real worry’, said Ms Walker.
Tweed mayor Barry Longland visited the site this morning and said that surf was breaking just 12 metres in front of the surf club building.
‘Probably another metre, perhaps a metre and a half that’s been lost last night, so that’s placing the erosion scarp about 12 metres away from the surf club here at Fingal, which is a worry for us,’ he told ABC North Coast this morning.
Ms Walker has used the situation to call for the drawing up of a national coastal plan.
‘It’s important to realise that this is a nationwide issue: a 2011 report for Surf Lifesaving Australia [showed] that more than half of the country’s surf lifesaving clubs are being threatened by extreme tides and weather conditions.
The report used data from Geo-Sciences Australia and climate change modelling to assess which clubs will come under threat.
It found that 63 per cent of surf clubs are in zones of potential instability, areas under threat from the impact of rising sea levels and changing weather conditions caused by climate change.
‘There is a need for a national coastal plan to ensure the sustainability of surf clubs and support the hardworking members who volunteer their time to keep our beaches safe’, said Ms Walker.