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100,000 cubic metres of sand to replenish Stockton Beach

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“There’s been a lot of work happening over the past couple of months and we are getting closer to having sand back on Stockton Beach.”

That’s the claim from Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp after he, and Minister for Regional NSW Tara Moriarty, announced this week the first 100,000 cubic metres would be sourced from shipping channels within Newcastle Harbour.

It’s all part of a $6.2 million project, funded by a $4.7 million commonwealth grant and a $1.5 million contribution from City of Newcastle (CN), to fix coastal erosion at the popular location.

The Stockton Beach Taskforce – chaired by Ms Moriarty, and comprising representatives from council, Mr Crakanthorp, the NSW Coastal Council, Worimi Local Aboriginal Lands Council and Stockton Community Liaison Group – met on Thursday 15 June for the first time in more than a year.

“NSW Public Works, which is managing the project, has identified a site in the navigation channel beyond the break wall entrance, which could be accessed within the existing Port of Newcastle dredging approvals,” she said.

“They’ve advised tenders for dredging and sand placement closed this month and submissions were currently being reviewed.

“A contract is expected to be awarded in September, with works to start after the necessary approvals for sand placement are secured.”

A dredging vessel will remove the equivalent of about 40 Olympic swimming pools of sand before redistributing it on Stockton Beach.

The taskforce is also looking to develop an action plan with community consultation to drive the project forward.

“This work will create a blueprint for the Department of Planning and Environment to rollout the NSW Government’s $21 million election commitment for mass sand nourishment,” Ms Moriarty said.

Mr Crakanthorp welcomed the action being taken by the NSW Government.

“I’d like to thank Minister Moriarty for taking the reins and listening to the concerns of the Stockton community,” he said.

“Labor committed to getting the taskforce meeting again and today, after stalling under the former government, that begins.”

It was a sentiment echoed by CN’s executive director planning and environment Michelle Bisson.

“Mass sand nourishment remained the long-term solution to protecting the NSW Government-owned Stockton Beach, and the work to develop the draft Extended Stockton Coastal Management Program (CMP) is well underway,” she said.

“The Extended Stockton CMP is critical for realising our vision for the Stockton coastline.

“It has been informed by extensive consultation with the community, as well as the findings of additional studies and investigations undertaken since the development of the 2020 CMP.

“Delivering the CMP is a complex process, and each management action outlined in the plan needs to be championed and funded by the appropriate agency.  

“Through the taskforce, we are drawing closer to confirming which NSW Government agencies will fund and own the mass sand nourishment implementation actions in the CMP for managing erosion in Stockton. 

“Once this is confirmed, we can finalise the draft CMP and place it on public exhibition later this year.”

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