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September 28, 2021

Byron shire council calls for federal approach to coastal hazards

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Coastal erosion, such as this at Belongil, is causing headaches for home-owners and councils alike. Photo Jeff Dawson
Coastal erosion, such as this at Belongil, is causing headaches for home-owners and councils alike. Photo Jeff Dawson

Councillors voted 8–1 last week to ‘write to our local members of parliament calling for a coordinated national approach to managing coastal hazards… To submit a bid to host the 27th NSW Coastal Conference in 2018 and the next unallocated Australian Coastal Councils Conference’ and if these ‘are unsuccessful, staff prepare a report on the implications of holding an event in Byron Shire, inviting key experts in coastal management.’

They also invited coastal engineer Angus Gordon to ‘share his insights on the Collaroy tripper wall for possible adoption within Byron Shire.’

Both Cr Hackett and the mayor Simon Richardson highlighted the failure of the state government in responding to this issue ‘the coastal zone management plan (CZMP) was submitted 12 months ago,’ and we’ve still had no response, said the mayor.

The increasing pressure on Belongil in the future owing to further development was a key motivating force for an invitation to Angus Gordon to address Council. Mr Gordon was instrumental in the development in the late 1970s of the tripper wall in Dee Why that has seen dunes being reinstated following extensive storm damage.

‘We are getting nothing back from our state government. I heard that we could do something in the meantime that is inexpensive while we wait for the governments to get back to us,’ said Cr Hackett.

The motion was opposed by Cr Alan Hunter who said that they had already chosen ‘the least-cost path out of the six options for the maintenance of the beach and coast’ previous studies’ expensive consultations had provided to Council.

‘We need to move on… I can’t believe we are spending money on this,’ he said.

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  1. Building expensive infrastructure on sand dunes can only ever end in tears! it’s a no brainer. Shame on any Govt or Council for ever allowing it in the first place, and bad luck to people who don’t think about the future of their investments. Temporary or relocatable dwellings? Most of the “value” would be in the land anyway, and sand dunes will never be forever! Ever! Taxpayers should not have to foot that bill.


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