The future of Stockton’s eroding coastline is a step closer to being decided, with council set to vote to adopt the Stockton Coastal Management Program on Tuesday night.
It follows overwhelming community support for the program, which proposes a mix of immediate and longer-term measures to replenish the heavily eroded beach and protect Stockton’s coastal assets.
City of Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said feedback provided had been used to refine the final draft of the CMP, which would be tabled at Tuesday’s council meeting.
“We know how important it is to the community that we move forward with a plan that achieves the best outcome for Stockton’s coastline,” Cr Nelmes said.
Community and agency stakeholders have backed the proposed measures, with 73% of respondents indicating their support during the recent public exhibition period.
If approved, the Stockton CMP will be submitted to the NSW Government for certification review.
Stockton Community Liaison Group (CLG) Chair, Barbara Whitcher, said the group was keen to see the process continue to move forward.
“After extensive consultation with City of Newcastle, including 22 meetings, the Stockton Community Liaison Group is pleased to see that a coastal management plan, which has the broad support of the community, will go to council,” she said.
“The majority in our community and council are in agreement about the main features of the program to finally address erosion and protect our coastline.
“We are hopeful that all councillors will endorse the plan at Tuesday night’s council meeting to allow the process to continue moving forward with the NSW Government.”
Another key step towards addressing Stockton’s long-term erosion issues was also taken this week, with the first meeting of the Deputy Premier’s Taskforce being held on Tuesday.
The City of Newcastle will play a key role in the taskforce, which is being chaired by NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro and includes the Lord Mayor, the State Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp, representatives from the Stockton community, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, Department of Regional NSW, Port of Newcastle and the NSW Coastal Council.
The meeting was hailed by the Deputy Premier as “very successful,” with the Taskforce committed to meeting at least four times a year with the common goal of getting sand onto Stockton Beach.