A new beach access on the eroded Kingscliff Beach foreshore opposite the CBD has been restored with the building of stairs at a cost of $16,000.
The stairs, on the beachside of the Cudgen Headland Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC), opens up the beach to locals and tourists in time for the busy summer season.
A number of beach accesses between the surf club and Cudgen Creek have been closed in recent months as sections of the beach disappeared due to erosion.
The purpose-built aluminium stairs, jointly funded by the SLSC and Tweed Coast Holiday Parks, are accessible from Lions Park to the south of the surf club, as the north side is fenced off.
Council’s holiday parks manager Richard Adams said this was to ensure the sand bag protection wall in front of the holiday park was not damaged by constant pedestrian traffic accessing the beach.
‘The bags are not designed for this and they would be costly and difficult to replace,’ Mr Adams said.
Cudgen Headland SLSC president Adam Mills said the erosion severely impacted on the club’s ability to provide patrols on Kingscliff Beach in recent times, with equipment needing to be hauled by road to beach accesses to the north near the bowls club, or south at Cudgen Creek.
‘Our ability to access the beach with our equipment has been reduced, which has affected our rescue capability,’ Mr Mills said.
‘We also have a duty of care to provide safe access for our 230 nippers to the beach and the stairs will do that, as well as allowing transport of equipment.’
Mr Adams said the stairs had been positioned at the northern end of the club to ensure safe access to a dry beach and to the area which the surf club had deemed safe for swimming.
‘Council has a responsibility to ensure individuals aren’t put at risk – as would be the case if the stairs were positioned further south – where waves may be breaking onto the rock wall at high tide,’ he said.
Directional signage will be placed at the old beach accesses to provide the direction and distance to the new stairs, to ensure beachgoers are not inconvenienced.
‘Council staff are continually monitoring the beach to determine when it is safe and practical to re-open the beach accesses. When it is, Council will undertake works to reinstate the beach accesses as quickly as possible,’ Mr Adams said.