David Gilet, Byron Bay
Unfortunately the fact that the Belongil seems to be in good condition is no indication that the beach to the south of it is also in good nick.
When I lived in Butler Street I used to walk to the mouth of the Belongil and about half an hour further north, five or six days a week. One of the first things I noticed was that the beach north of the Belongil self-repaired while the beach to the south of it did not. Tallow Beach, the other beach that I am familiar with, also self-repairs.
The reason that the Belongil can look okay while the rest of the beach is eroded is because the erosion tapers, being more severe the closer you are to the rockworks and diminishing as you move north.
The other thing I noticed was that when the owners dumped rocks on the border of the beach and their property, the result was that storm surges gouged out four or five square metres of the adjoining property – which of course provided an excuse for the neighbours to also dump rocks. The present arrangement is a confrontational one, we need to find a way to work with the forces of nature not against them.