LOCAL MEMBER ANDREW CONSTANCE JOINS IN TO THE SAVE SURFSIDE BATTLE Local member Andrew Constance has relayed Council advice to Surfside residents refuting the findings of the “Sethi report”. (see letter below) The Sethi report was researched and prepared by retired local engineer Viv Sethi and endorsed by Angus Jackson. Jackson is regarded as one of if the foremost coastal engineers in Australia. The report clearly demonstrates that since the early 1960’s when Batemans Bay’s southern revetment wall appears to have been constructed as a piecemeal council project, the old training wall raised to the height of the full revetment wall, and the full revetment wall extended in the 1990’s, Corrigans Beach reserve has grown by around 300 metres in width and over 2 metres in depth. Dredging was also identified as a contributor to the erosion and accretion. The huge amount of sand deposited at Corrigans over a period of just 40 years did not come from the moon. Sethi shows that it came from Wharf Road, Surfside and the northern sand shoals in the Clyde estuary. Conversely Council’s General Manager, Dr. Catherine Dale claims: “Mr. Viv Sethi has prepared a brief literature review that concludes that the NSW government and Council are responsible for creating coastal erosion at Surfside. His theory is based on the premise that constructing the Batemans Bay training walls in 1905 and subsequent dredging campaigns have starved Surfside of sand. "Although the report prepared by Mr Viv Sethi is a reasonable historic overview, Council and the experts we have consulted, do not agree with the conclusions he has reached from the information available.” Council and Minister Constance have a vested financial interest in refuting the Sethi findings. Neither government body wants to fund the remediation work required to restore Surfside’s natural defences or pay the property owners fair compensation. The Council comment above is so far off the mark that it is doubtful that Dr. Dale has read the Sethi report. And who are the experts Council has consulted? Are they members of the questionable UNSW Stage 2 ECMP Hazard Study team? Do they include the scientific adviser who publicly challenged the right of Surfside to exist and then declared anyone approving redevelopment projects in that area guilty of breaching their duty of care? A great advertisement for the impartiality of Council and the NSW Office of Heritage and Environment. Sethi has the written support of a renowned and pragmatic coastal engineer. Could the mayor please advise Surfside owners and the Eurobodalla community who the experts are that advised Council to refute the Sethi report and release their written reports and /or opinions? What also concerns the NSW Coastal Alliance is the action of Council misleading Wharf Road and Surfside owners in relation to the Sethi findings and appearing to support a jointly funded erosion/mitigation study, at the same time as it was feeding the local member a completely different story. The NCA will report shortly on the Eurobodalla Coastal Management Program (ECMP). That release will explain how the golden shoreline (Batemans Bay foreshore area from Surfside to Batehaven) is at the crossroads in terms of its future development. Council’s Stage Three ECMP mitigation/adaptation plan now being prepared by Council, will either make or break Batemans Bay and its fragile tourism-based economy. NSW Coastal Alliance Eurobodalla Prepared and released by:Ian Hitchcock Eurobodalla Regional Coordinator NSW Coastal Alliance
Click the above to read the letter from Eurobodalla Council to Andrew Constance 17th April 2018
Above; an extract of the April 17th 2018 (Note Council error of date) letter from the General Manager of ESC to Andrew Constance
Mr Viv Sethi, having received a copy of this letter (this week) has now written to the Mayor and Councillors. Dear Mayor/councillors
Please read the attached letter (above), written by Council and signed by the G.M., that was sent to a Surfside resident via Minister Constance. Note that the letter is dated 17 April,2018, two weeks before the meeting at Wharf Road with Council staff, councillors,the Mayor and community members and 3 weeks before the meeting with the NSW Coastal Alliance Eurobodalla and NSW Coastal Alliance. The letter plainly states that "council and the experts we have consulted, do not agree with the conclusions" of my report.
If councillors were aware of this 'expert advice' then the meetings were a farce. Note that Mr Usher is the point of contact in the letter and that he was at both meetings and said nothing about this April 17th letter or Council opinion and that he let those at the meetings determine an action to prepare a scope of works to remedy the problem that has been caused by the NSW Govt asking the NSW Govt to fund the work. Please provide me with a copy of the 'expert advice' that council have based this decision on. How can the community believe the Mayor when she says that she wants to work with the community and this kind of deception is going on?