Offshore sand extraction has been identified as one of the only viable methods to replenish Stockton Beach, but Newcastle council says it is unsure of the state government’s support for the process.
A successful lord mayoral minute at the council’s latest meeting cited advice from the University of NSW’s Water Research Laboratory (WRL), which was commissioned by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH).
“A recent NSW Government-sponsored report identifies offshore sand extraction as possibly the only method to renourish Stockton Beach, however, it remains unclear whether the NSW Government will support the use of this mechanism as part of City of Newcastle’s Coastal Management Program,” lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
“I want to thank the Stockton Community Liaison Group and the Newcastle Coastal Planning Working Group for the work they have done to date to address coastal erosion at Stockton.
“It is clear from my discussions with both groups that clarify from the NSW Government is urgently needed to move forward with our vital coastal planning and management.”
Stockton-based expert on coastal erosion Ron Boyd, who is also a member of the liaison group and the coastal planning working group, believes the severe sand erosion problem at Stockton can only be remediated by sand replenishment.
He adds the supply of marine sand is a critical component of NSW coastal councils’ response to the Coastal Management Act of 2016.
“There are limited options for sourcing this sand and the marine option may prove to be the most suitable and cost-effective,” he said.
“I’m aware that there’s an abundance of sand available on the inner shelf off Newcastle for this purpose, as well as a large sand deposit accumulating seaward off Nobbys Beach.”
Visit newcastle.nsw.gov.au for more information about the council’s planning processes.