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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Erosion threatens Fingal Surf Club

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dawn-walker-fingal-surf-club-1200pxFingal 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.


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  1. Surf clubs!!! The sea level is rising and will erode approx 100 metres inland for every 1 metre rise. At the State adopted sea level rise Brunswick Heads, Byron Bay, Ballina are all doomed to fall into the sea in the next few hundred years, with the coastline 100’s of metres inland from where it is now. Despite Greens candidate Dawn Walker’s “need for a coastal plan” the Byron Greens initiated and support the Shires most greenhouse gas polluting and the Shires most environmentally destructive event industry with their demonstrated (but ignored by the Greens Mayor Council)development breaches, and ignore established strategic development controls, and ignore established knowledge on coastal erosion (such as the Belongil rock walls. Dawn Walkers chest beating is political election spin, while the elected Greens demonstrate the opposite.

  2. er… its called continental drift… we learned about it in primary school… the east coast is getting smaller and the west coast is getting bigger… some of the beaches in WA are like half a mile of sand before you get to the water, and growing while the east coast is receding. The council just doesnt seemed to have cottoned on to this basic geological reality yet… Even though most people learned about it in the 7th grade. We who live on the gold coast have been telling the council for years that building these buildings right on the beach is a receipe for disaster and will eventually cpst millions upon millions in damages and cause many people to one day, lose their homes… but still they continue to build them, and so this is what you get… and everytime it happens they still make like its some unforessen disaster…. Sigh… One is forced to question whether there is an actual working brain cell amongst any of them…

  3. Dawn Walker is a political Candidate who is demonstrating her readiness to help find solutions to local and national problems in a federal context.
    Whether the threat of erosion is ‘natural’, ‘cyclical’ or a consequence of our actions, a National Plan is a positive step in addressing the concerns of locals and others similarly affected.
    Should she be elected, this is exactly what the people of Richmond will expect her to do. Ari Ehrlich Tyalgum 2484


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