Community concern over beach protection works at Elements of Byron Resort in Belongil have prompted management to respond and explain their plans and permits.
A spokesperson from Elements of Byron said maintenance and repairs works at the beach in front of the resort ‘sit wholly within the Elements of Byron property’.
They said, ‘The 1.5m high geo-fab (sandbag) wall was constructed in 2015 under the Code Of Practice provisions (Coastal Protection Act)’.
‘In 2017, we applied to the Department (Coastal Panel) for a permanent approval, which we were informed was not required owing to the works being on private land. As landowners and under this regime we are required to maintain the structure for safety and integrity in perpetuity.
‘This is the first time since 2016 that we have needed to carry out any maintenance works. These works are limited to a small section of the overall structure.
‘Our Contractor Hardings conferred with the Council works department regarding the work and beach access.
‘All work health and safety plans and protocols were drawn up, which included having two full time spotters on the beach for public safety.
‘The contractor commenced work on Thursday February 4, 2021.
‘Under direction from the Fisheries Department we stopped work on Friday February 5, 2021, and submitted an application to DPIE (which we were not aware was required).
‘A Marine Parks permit is not required unless we need to work on the Crown land.
‘We anticipate 2–3 days to complete the works and tidy the site. It is unfortunate that we had to stop and leave it the way it is.
‘It is possible these bags may be buried again for many years due to the dynamic nature of this ICOLL [Intermittently Closed and Open Lakes and Lagoons]. We are planning to restore any planting along the frontal dunes upon completion.
‘We had no intention to leave the site unsafe or untidy. We are hoping to receive the DPIE permits soon so we can get in and complete the works and restore the area.
Resort managers say the public are welcome to ask questions around the works via email – [email protected]