Flood-prone Wooyung once drained to the sea

A floating dredge used for sand mining at Wooyung in the 1960s. Photo supplied

A floating dredge used for sandmining at Wooyung in the 1960s. Photo supplied

An interesting photo of the proposed development at Wooyung ran in conjunction with your article Wooyung developer wants luxury housing instead of resort.

It clearly shows the remnants of the old outlet which flowed into the ocean through the Wooyung cane fields. This was blocked by a floating dredge extracting mineral sands in 1960s. Above is a photo of that dredge operating in the outlet. The dredge I understand was owned by one of the canefarmer’s relatives.wooyung-flood_map

After the sand miners left the area, the Wooyung outlet was totally blocked and the cane farmers then drained their cane fields south through Ocean Shores. When the original Ocean Shores developers were ordered by Byron Council to block another outlet in 1976, and blocked the Capricornia canal with a bund instead of a bridge, the cane fields no longer drained quickly enough and the cane farmers successfully began legal action to open up outlets in Kallaroo Circuit bund to drain their fields south.

Needless to say Ocean Shores also flooded after the council ordered the outlet above Golden Beach closed in 1976 and a natural outlet to the ocean at Golden Beach was also previously closed during the construction of Golden Beach in the late 50s.

Both the cane farmers and a vocal environmental lobby deny the existence of these original outlets despite historical photos and maps showing them open to the ocean.

This surveyor general map of 1887 (at right) gives an opening 33 chains wide at Wooyung in your article. This ocean outlet was the reason Wooyung Road turned right heading south to avoid this outlet.

Jim Mangleson, Ocean Shores


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers.