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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Stockton taskforce looks to Hunter River sand to replenish beach

Sand from the south arm of the Hunter River could be the key to helping replenish Newcastle’s ravaged Stockton Beach.

City of Newcastle plans to meet with the Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation and Regional NSW to explore the option following a meeting of the Deputy Premier’s Stockton Beach Taskforce.

Stockton Community Liaison Group Chair, Barbara Whitcher, said she supported the initiative.

“It’s encouraging to hear through the taskforce the potential for relocating sand from the Hunter River to Stockton for short-term sand replenishment,” she said.

“This news was received well at [a recent] Stockton Community Liaison Group Meeting and we look forward to further updates.”

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the taskforce was making positive progress on achieving mass sand nourishment for Stockton Beach.

“It’s encouraging that the taskforce is making headway on finding suitable sand sources for mass nourishment at Stockton Beach and we’re optimistic about the potential Hunter River south arm opportunity,” she said.

“Since June last year City of Newcastle has spent more than $3 million on emergency works associated with protecting coastal assets and property from erosion at Stockton Beach, including sandbagging and safety measures.”

In other news for the project, the council has also made a decision to use ‘Kyowa Rock Bags’ as emergency works in place of existing sandbagging at the northern end of Stockton Beach.

The investment in this technology is expected to offset the need for ongoing emergency response at Barrie Crescent and for the two buried terminal protection structures (Stone Street and Griffith Avenue).

The council claims it will save the community $2.45 million and buy time for the taskforce to achieve mass sand nourishment.

The bags will provide up to 15 years protection, allowing for a window of time in which mass offshore sand nourishment can be achieved, as outlined in the Stockton Coastal Management Program 2020.