15.5 C
Byron Shire
May 16, 2021

Sucking sand from Tallow to Belongil

Latest News

Bluesfest announces October dates for 2021 festival

After two disappointing cancelations of their event, Bluesfest has announced that they will hold the 2021 festival over the...

Other News

‘Endless land releases’ not the solution for Byron’s housing crisis, says Labor mayor hopeful

Northern Rivers-based trade unionist and MBA student Asren Pugh has announced his candidature for Byron Shire Mayor in September’s local government elections on behalf of Country Labor. 

Father and son win first sailing race

Sixteen boats competed in the Tweed Valley Sailing Club’s race day earlier this month in a 10-12 knot breeze that suited newcomers to the sport well.

Interview with Cyprien Clerc, Founder and managing Director of Futureseeds

Founder and Managing Director at FutureSeeds, Cyprien Clerc, talks to The Echo about this upcoming event.

Free mental health workshop for Byron businesses

Business owners in Byron Shire are invited to attend a free 'Healthy Mindset' workshop aimed at providing them with resources and tools to improve mental health and wellbeing, as well as the opportunity to connect with other business owners.

Re Netflix

David Gilet, Byron Bay You would have to say that the Byron district has more than its fair share of wankers,...

Water outage in Ballina this Thursday

Residents on Crane and Owen Streets in Ballina are advised of a planned water outage this Thursday May 13.

Re the plans to suck sand from Tallow to Belongil

How did we get from simply replacing 100 metres of geo bags that are past their use-by date with rocks, to suddenly destroying one beach to build up another one?

It was made very clear to all of us by UNSW, Water Research Laboratory who are considered to be the most respected and highly revered in the industry that the change from geo bags to rocks would make very little difference, if any at all, to the sand or lack of sand on the 100m2 of land in front of them.

This is just 100m2 on a beach that already has had a kilometre of rock or hard barriers of some kind for decades.

We are simply considering replacing these bags with rocks that won’t require renewing after each storm event as the bags do now.

Sand obviously hasn’t been needed since geo bags and rocks have been in place for some 15 years and we still have a beach.   Under the CZMP landowners will be required to pay a levy to contribute towards the ongoing maintenance and nourishment of the beach should it be needed.

We have two options – retreat or defend. To retreat means that we could see a dozen or so homes dangling from a cliff with all of their contents, building materials, asbestos etc being added to waste in our oceans or the alternative relocating dozens of homes to another site in the hills or otherwise. Many of these property owners will require compensation since they were constructed before 1988. At $2 milllion to $3 million each compensation could be a very costly option.

The cost of ‘abandoning/retreating’ could run into the multi-millions when considering litigation from owners who have been ordered to remove their protective rock walls, which will stretch well into the next decade. Is the public purse ready to fund the cost of that?

I believe it is in the best interests of the whole community to find a way of ‘managing’ our shore line that does not entail ‘abandoning’ a whole suburb and subsequently endangering the township of Byron should a breach occur at the Manfred St site. We have been warned this is a distinct possibility. It has breached at that site before.

The decision to ‘defend’ with geo bags was made by resolution of the previous council hence the need to continually replace geo bags regardless of the enormous costs associated with that.

The cost of replacing the bags with rocks at the Manfred St site is probably going to be around the $1.2 million minus the $300,000 being paid by the affected landowners, but each time the bags are washed away it costs some $400,000 to replace.

Maintenance year after year is a cost often not factored in the hysteria that surrounds this issue. Last report put maintenance and replacement costs at approximately $2 million spent over the past 15 years. If that cost were to be added to the mix it is ridiculous to say the one-off cost of rock, which has little or no maintenance requirements, is exorbitant.

Maybe it is time for a ‘critical conversation’ at the Community Centre to clarify with the community just what the true facts are regarding replacing geo bags with rocks. Both sides can bring in their experts and we will have a truly balanced debate.

Byron Shire councillor Rose Wanchap

Editor’s note: The answer to Cr Wanchap’s rhetorical question at the top of this letter is on the Byron Shire Council’s own website, on a page entitled Coastal Hazard Management Study for the Byron Bay Embayment, in a report from a council stakeholder workshop held on January 28, 2015.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Power outage in Byron Shire

Power supply company Essential Energy says that approximately 1,780 homes and businesses were without supply this morning.

Filming of Byron Baes begins with no indigenous consultation

Filming of the Netflix series Byron Baes has reportedly commenced without any effort made by the show's production company – Eureka Productions – to consult with local indigenous groups or the local Council.

Byron Comedy Festival launched with a laugh

At a hilarious sold-out launch of the Byron Comedy Festival, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki had the entire Byron Bay Surf Club giggling last night

School Strike for Climate next Friday

Next Friday from 10am Byron Shire students will be demanding political action on the climate emergency in what they and their supporters say is our present, future and reality.