Representatives of the NSW Coastal Alliance (NCA) and the newly formed Eurobodalla Coast Alliance (ECA) were invited to meet this week with NSW One Nation Senator, Brian Burston.
Senator Brian Burston
The meeting took place at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday 14th September 2017, and covered Eurobodalla coastal management issues including the Wharf Road Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP), depletion of the northern sand shoal that once protected Wharf Road and Surfside, and the identification of “vulnerable” areas in the new NSW Coastal Management Act.
The discussions included the property rights of the old Wharf Road subdivision owners who are faced with a CZMP (currently with the NSW Environment Minister) that robs them to their title on inundated lands. It also supports the use, or misuse, of special environmental zones (E2) to sterilise the development potential of the foreshore land that remains intact. The questionable tactics used by the NSW government to avoid compensation in this instance, and the precedent it could set for other cases of coastal erosion in NSW, and Australia as a whole, was of concern to all attendees.
This led on to discussions on the dredging and engineering works that caused to Wharf Road erosion in the first place, and now threatens to whole of Surfside if damage to the protective northern shoals is not rectified. Good marine access is important to Batemans Bay and there is a continuing need for channel dredging. The question was asked why then has the NSW Government ignored the man-made erosion of the sand bars that protect low lying housing on the north shore. Why hasn’t this state government and previous NSW state governments developed an engineering solution to the problem?
The meeting was wound up on the issue of the “vulnerable area” classifications under the new NSW Coastal Management Act. Up to six thousand Eurobodalla properties are at risk of being classified “vulnerable to coastal hazards” under the new act. Concern was expressed that a vulnerable area classification will mean no (or prohibitively expensive) flood, storm or tempest insurance. No insurance will mean limited finance available for the purchase of such properties. The economic fall-out, up and down the NSW coastline, could be immense.
Senator Burston plans to inspect the affected sites in the near future, and to hold further discussions with the local Eurobodalla and state-wide Coastal Alliance groups.
Released by Ian Hitchcock
Eurobodalla Regional Co-ordinator
NSW Coastal Alliance