RESIDENTS OF SURFSIDE, LONG BEACH AND MALONEYS BEACH
YOUR HOMES ARE AT RISK!
IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED A LETTER FROM COUNCIL INVITING YOU TO A BATEMANS BAY DROP IN MEETING ON 10TH OCTOBER 2017, YOUR PROPERTY IS UNDER THREAT.
You are probably not aware that our Council commissioned consultants to prepare a Coastal Management Program (CMP) for the shire. The draft is now complete, and our council wants you to understand why your property is at threat of coastal hazards.
Over many years the State Government has dredged the southern side of the Clyde estuary, and Council has built sea walls to scour sand from the channel. That sand has built a magnificent Corrigans Beach Reserve, but at the expense of your natural protection.
The NSW Government and Council have ignored the environmental damage they have caused in your estuary system. Now their solution appears to be “planned retreat” without compensation, accompanied by land forfeitures and land sterilisation as proposed for the old Wharf Road subdivision.
IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU TAKE THE TIME TO READ THE ATTACHED PAPER BELOW prepared by the Eurobodalla Coast Alliance (ECA). It outlines your predicament and provides the questions you should be asking Council.
If you are interested in attending a public meeting or joining the campaign to save low lying properties at Surfside, Long Beach and Maloneys Beach, drop the ECA’s Surfside representative, Mr. Viv Sethi, a line at email@example.com
Eurobodalla Regional Co-ordinator
NSW Coastal Alliance Council’s Coastal Management Program for Surfside, Long Beach and Maloneys
The Coastal Management Program (CMP) that Council planning staff are inviting you to discuss in October will determine the future of your property. If you have received an invitation to a “drop in session”, your property has been assessed as “at risk” by the coastal management consultants engaged by Council. This assessment is certain to get you a “vulnerable area” rating under the new NSW Coastal Management Act, which means that you will struggle to get any insurance for flood, storm or tempest. This inability to insure, or prohibitively expensive insurance, will deter bankers from financing your property when and if you decide to sell. Your property value could plummet.If you think that the NSW Government or your Council respects your property rights, enquire about the Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) prepared for the old Wharf Road subdivision. The Government’s Coastal Panel determined that all inundated lands would be forfeited to the Crown without compensation. Council zoned the remaining foreshore land E2, a special environmental protection zone, to stop all future development. Defensive options like a sea wall were rejected out of hand and the unaffected foreshore land is now next to worthless.Until 1961, there was an inner bay and outer bay in the Clyde estuary (see photo). The Surfside spit that formed the inner bay, protected Wharf Road and West Surfside. The rest of Surfside, Long Beach and Maloneys Beach were protected by the northern shoal, a huge sand shoal that broke heavy waves well before they reached the beach. Research undertaken by the Eurobodalla Coast Alliance shows that some erosion damage was caused to the spit and shoal in the early days from the construction of the dwarf training wall at the entrance in the early nineteen hundreds.
BATEMANS BAY AND SURFSIDE SPIT IN 1961
However, this was nothing compared with the damage caused in the nineteen sixties and seventies as a result of the construction of the bridge, the southern sea wall, and the extension of that sea wall in the late 1980’s.The scouring action of the new sea wall deposited huge amounts sand (estimated at 300,000 cubic metres) on Corrigans Beach between 1960 and 1970. Corrigans Beach reserve grew 150 metres into the ocean in those 10 years. Between 1988 and 1993, when the sea wall was extended, Corrigans reserve grew another 150 metres as a result of channel scouring. The current sporting oval site was on the beach prior to the extension of the sea wall.Council reports show very clearly that the sand that created Corrigan’s reserve came from the northern shoal. This is the shoal that once protected your beaches and property from coastal erosion. Our enquiries have determined that severe erosion of the Surfside spit in the sixties and early seventies caused the destruction of the old Wharf Road subdivision. The erosion of this natural protection allowed the 1974 “super storm” to wreak havoc on that subdivision.Council’s Hanging Rock Management Plan prepared in 1999 clearly acknowledges the build-up of sand on Corrigans Beach after the extension of the sea wall in 1989. Extreme scouring of the channel and further depletion of the northern sand shoal was a known risk that council engineers appear to have ignored. The ECA acknowledges that dredging of the estuary channel is a necessary evil if Batemans Bay is to remain a sea port, and cater to the needs of recreational fishermen and other boaters who make a large contribution to the local economy. At the same time, it is incumbent upon a responsible council and state government to protect the natural defences that will save the three north shore suburbs from tidal surges generated by the next east coast super storm. Council recognised the need for a northern sea wall in its 2002 Coastal Hazard Management Plan (CHMP), but appears to have dropped that idea in favour of a passive “planned retreat” policy as promoted by the climate change lobby. If you want to protect the value of your coastal property, and ensure that it does not suffer the same fate as the old Wharf Road subdivision, attend Council’s October meeting and demand that:
1.Council acknowledges that the erosion of the Surfside spit and northern shoal was “man – made” and had nothing to do with climate change. 2.The Umwelt coastal hazard study is revisited to include a full historical review of the causes of the massive erosion of the Surfside spit and the northern shoal from 1956 to 1993. 3.An engineering solution is developed (perhaps a groin or northern sea wall) to protect what is left of the northern shoal and re-establish the Surfside spit. 4.The NSW State Government issues a retraction of the Coastal Panel’s determination on the loss of title to inundated lands, and stops using, or misusing, environmental protection zones to sterilise developable land. 5.The NSW Government and Council accept liability for the loss of or damage to property that is or has been indirectly caused by dredging and engineering works in the Clyde estuary and inner bay. Eurobodalla Coast Alliance September 2017.