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The Surfside Saga continues with a letter to the Ministers


Dear Beagle Editor, Your readers might be interested in the letter I have just sent to various NSW State Ministers in regards to the Surfside sand berm I wrote of on March 7th, 2017. Dear Ministers,

I am writing to you because I have grave concerns about potentially life threatening works carried out by Eurobodalla Shire Council. As a retired engineer, I hope to prove to you that this is either gross and dangerous incompetence or a deliberate and planned attempt to flood Surfside:

Key Issues

1. The Dune on Surfside beach was raised by about 1m over the Christmas period

2. Council claims no responsibility and claims it was part of the Crown Lands Dredging project on the other side of the Clyde River

3. The Crown Lands scope of work (agreed to by council) says that their responsibility ended when the dried sand (about 6000 cubic metres or 6000 UTE loads) was stored above the high tide mark for use by Council

4. Expert opinion of sand disposal options were completely ignored

5. Expert opinion (that was also agreed to by council) agrees with my opinion that raising the dune would be expensive (hundreds of thousands), futile, dangerous and would require an ‘extensive’ study before being attempted

6. There was not even a D.A. done for this work

7. The person in Crown Lands specifically blamed for being responsible (Nathan Hadley) has been threatened and instructed by superiors not to answer my e-mailed questions and not to answer my calls. However, he answered after 2 weeks (by mistake) and apologized and told me is being put in a very distressing position and doesn’t know what to do and politely ended the call.

8. Since January the dune has moved towards the South West end of the beach (as the expert and I said it would) and has formed a berm across the front of the storm water outlets, with the storm water having to back up the creek and threaten properties and the sewage pumping station

9. After I exposed the danger in the local on-line press, council staff were seen inspecting the berm late on Thursday Mar16. By 8.30a.m. Friday17 senior staff were seen inspecting the creek that had miraculously opened overnight without any additional overnight rain. Council will claim it was a natural occurrence

10. The dune will continue to build up the berm once again and will continue to do so until all the sand placed on the dune is used up (as explained by the specialist).

11. This can only be seen as either dangerous incompetence or a deliberate attempt to flood an elderly and trusting community

Expert Opinion

Below are excerpts from the ‘due diligence’ specialist report that was part of the Dredging Project on the other side of the Clyde river. The complete report is attached to this e-mail for your experts to assess.


From the above, we can see that the specialist states that simply adding sand to the dune would result in the sand moving to the South West end of the beach. This is where the storm water outlets are. In layman’s terms, if you add sand to the dune it will move to the South West end and form a berm (sand bar) in front of the outlets, causing storm water to back up and cause flooding.

The specialist also states that IF it were to be done then the dune vegetation would have to be removed and re-established on top (very expensive). This was not done!

The specialist further states that Council does not have a program to manage coastal risks in this area.

Finally, the specialist states that “to nourish this area now without extensive consultation would be difficult and not favoured by staff”! There was no consultation done and the dune was raised even though it was ‘not favoured by staff’.


In his conclusion, the specialist states that “works in residential areas such as Surfside” are “contentious in nature”. Yet the work was carried out at the peak of the tourist season, a week before X-mas!

The specialist concludes that the sand be used to build the dune at Corrigans beach with the remaining 6000 UTE loads to be “stored…at Hanging rock” for “later use… by Council”. Thus, confirming that Crown Lands’ responsibility ended when they stored the sand above the high tide mark at Hanging Rock!

Finally, the specialist states “the above is consistent with the consensus view of Eurobodalla Shire Council”

Ministers, the evidence speaks for itself:

-council denies any responsibility, even though they are clearly responsible

-there is no paper trail for the raising of the dune: no job#, no D.A. no funding trail, no expert consultation, no contractors invoice, etc

-The Crown Lands employee that council blame as responsible has been instructed by superiors not to respond to my e-mail or return my calls

-council spent an enormous amount of money transporting and loading/unloading the sand to Surfside

- Council dumped the sand on Surfside dune at X-mas in such haste that even the dune vegetation was killed!

-Specialist advice was not to build up Surfside dune

-Specialist advice pointed out the danger of causing flooding by raising the dune This is the link to the on-line article where I try to alert the community: This is the link to the G.M.s response (I respond in the comments section below) Yours sincerly Viv Sethi

#BatemansBay #Opinion

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