A plan to use offshore sand to save Stockon Beach from coastal erosion will cost more than $50 million.
The figure has been revealed as part of City of Newcastle’s Stockton Coastal Management Program (CMP), which is on public exhibition from today (Wednesday 13 May) until 10 June.
It estimates that initial actions to address the erosion will cost $19 million over five years, as well as an extra $21 million for mass offshore sand nourishment and $12 million in maintenance every decade.
Coastal engineers have recommended an initial mass marine sand nourishment campaign of 2.4 million cubic metres to restore the beach and protect coastal assets.
The CMP also identifies actions to take over the next 12 months to address immediate risks, while NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro’s Stockton Erosion Taskforce determines a legal pathway to secure the required volume of sand from approximately two kilometres offshore.
Research undertaken as part of the CMP has also found that 112,000 cubic metres of sand is being lost each year, far more than previously estimated.
Immediate actions include an initial sand nourishment program of 50,000 cubic metres from land-based or other permissible sources, while undertaking essential protection works to the ends of existing seawalls to address the imminent risk of losing both private property and community assets.
Northside Boardriders President Simon Jones said that, while the Stockton Community Liaison Group (CLG) had provided a much-needed voice, it was also vital for the wider community to give feedback.
“I’m glad that the plan put forward is one which is focused on returning the sandy beach that I enjoyed as a kid so as the next generation of Stockton can swim, surf, fish and make friends on the beach like we did,” Mr Jones said.
“While the Stockton CLG represents a good cross-section of the community, it’s so important that the broader community takes advantage of this public exhibition period to have their say.”
Every coastal council in the state is currently preparing a CMP in line with the NSW Coastal Management Act 2016, with a deadline of December 2021.
City of Newcastle will become one of the first to submit a CMP at the end of June, in line with a direction from Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock.
You can view the Stockton CMP via the council’s website.