11.5 C
Byron Shire
May 23, 2024

Managing Byron’s beaches

Latest News

Only three flood buybacks done in Byron Shire

The most recent data from the Resilient Homes Program (buybacks, house raising and retrofits), administered by the SW Reconstruction Authority (RA), shows Byron Shire has just three buyback purchases completed, as of May 10, 2024.

Other News

Lost in pronunciaton

Ivan Aristeguieta is ridiculously funny. What’s better is watching people try and pronounce his name – and then of course, it’s his deep dive into Aussie culture. Ivan has lived in Australia for ten years – as he says ‘living amongst you, observing you, learning about you’ – and now he makes a very good living taking the piss out of you. ‘I am a true blue, dinky-di Venez-stralian. Nah, she’ll be right! (Who is she by the way?).’

The 2024 budget wash up

It's impossible to make everyone happy on budget night, but Treasurer Jim Chalmers' 2024 effort has upset more than most, as the government struggles to avoid inflation rebounding, make more things in Australia, and do something about the cost of living.

Gas

Living in a modern world I see on social media, etc. world melting, CO2 production associated topics. So having recently...

Stone & Wood wins at Australian International Beer Awards

Stone & Wood Brewing are proud to announce a big win at the Melbourne Royal Australian International Beer Awards held last night, with the brewery’s Big Pale Ale taking home the title of Champion Australian Beer. Big Pale Ale also took out the Best Australian Pale Ale category.

Getting groovy with Ino

Originally from NZ, Ino Pio is proud to have called the Northern Rivers home for the last decade. When visiting Byron Bay or Ballina you will be sure to see him playing around town.

Trains on roads

Soon we will have electric self-driving cars. The number of cars around the world could drop to ten per...

Oliver Dunne, Wategos Beach

In The Echo two weeks ago, I challenged the opinions by prominent environmental campaigner, Dailan Pugh, that long-term erosion plus global warming and rising sea levels are the primary cause of Byron Bay’s current erosion problems.

An article on the Clarkes Beach event in The Conversation last week corroborates my rebuttal to Dailan. The Griffith University scientists outline what they call the Headland Effect and its impact on our beaches, particularly when the usual currents and prevailing winds do not show up, as happened in this instance.

No mystery here to the keen surfers who have tried to surf The Pass this year or to the longboarders getting wonderful surf off the Cape and Little Wategos. The Clarkes Beach dune blowout was most definitely not caused by climate change or long-term sea-level rise, as intimated by Dailan.

Byron Shire’s beaches have now largely stabilised after the onslaught of the ’60s and the ’70s but our community urgently requires a strategy for their annual management so that they can meet short-term challenges which occur with regularity after each East Coast Low.

Twice in the past 14 years, in 2006 and again in 2016, our Council declined to adopt a beach nourishment program to protect our beaches. Fair enough, Council did not have to adopt the gold-plated sand bypass pumping option from Tallow Beach. I’m pleased it did not as, if we believe Professor Goodwin’s recent assessments, the numbers relied on vastly overstated the problem and the amount of sand required to be transferred.

But, there are other proactive options for beach nourishment that are cheaper and more effective in dunal management. These alternatives should have been pursued by Council, and the state government should have required Council to pursue some of these options.

There appears to be an obsession amongst some on Council that any efforts at preservation of our public beaches and the protection of public amenity for all must be resisted if some private party benefits. This ludicrous position stymies all attempts by the staff to fix the problems we face. I would say we urgently need that discussion to reboot, both outside and on the Council.

For years now, there have been dredgers working off the Tweed Coast and the lower Gold Coast beaches on an annual basis carrying out remedial, storage and dune forming works. The Tweed River Sand Bypass has been working successfully for two decades. There has been beach protection and nourishment at Kingscliff and Duranbah. The growing expertise in placing dredged sand has led to the support from beach users in Tweed and the southern half of the Gold Coast, with ongoing consultation a big part of the planning and operation, eg, the Super Bank at Snapper.

If it’s good enough for Tweed Shire under current NSW coastal legislation, there should be no impediment to the state government requiring a similar proactive response in Byron Shire.

So here is my plea to you, Dailan: When residents come to discuss problems on our beaches, please don’t label those of us who do not agree with you as climate change deniers. I am happy to bow to you on all matters of forest conservation. But when it comes to the beach that I live on and which I observe daily, I prefer to follow the science.

I agree that if we have no action on climate change, there may be a sea-level rise of one metre by 2100. But, there are close to 5,000 of my fellow Byron Bay residents who are not quite ready to pack up their bags and move to Casino just yet. To the toddlers being daily pushed in prams to the Lighthouse, that represents at least another 75 years of good surfing. I doubt somehow they are planning any retreat either.


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.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Fatal crash near Coffs

Three people have been involved in a horrifying crash today, leaving two dead and one in critical condition, police said. 

NSW Gov’t promises to fast-track super battery storage

State government investment in major battery projects across NSW is to be increased and fast-tracked, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Penny Sharpe said on Wednesday.

NSW gov’t opens Tweed Valley Hospital

The NSW government is to officially open the $723.3 million Tweed Valley Hospital today after the transferral of patients to the new facility last week.

Fed gov’t doubles funds for local road repairs

Local governments across the state are to share in $1.2 billion worth of commonwealth funding for local roads over the next five years.