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Mayor defeated by a vote of 8 to 1 in her Mayoral Minute to co-fund Wharf Road study

Delivering a Mayoral Minute to seek the approval to allocate co-contribution funds for a report to be prepared on the cause, impacts and remediation of coastal inundation to the Wharf Road area of Surfside the Mayor was strongly voted down eight to one. In her initial Mayoral Minute she sought approval for Council to contribute 50% of the cost of a study up to a total cost to Council, of $10,000 The study, co funded by Wharf Road owners would assess and describe (from existing reports) the current known characteristics of the coastal processes within Batemans Bay and specifically at Wharf Road The parameters sought by the owners were that the report would also develop options to reclaim land to achieve a coastline consistent with that in existence at the time that DA 871/02 was lodged and to manage ongoing coastal hazards both now and into the future and identify the costs, both for construction and ongoing management actions of recommendations arising from those options. It would then assess and make recommendations in regard to suitability of the site for development (public and private), the types of development, any conditions related to that development and appropriate zoning of the site, subject to consideration of the outcomes of findings and would facilitate the purchase of the land by the NSW Government and enable the owners to recover costs in line with the value of the site had it not been rezoned to a nonoperational zone. Earlier the Councillors had heard a presentation by Ian Hitchcock, Eurobodalla Regional Coordinator NSW Coastal Alliance This however is NOT a singular location issue and Eurobodalla Council are being urged to “come clean” on threats to other coastal property owners, especially those across the Clyde River in the area of Batehaven and Hanging Rock who will be equally at risk of the predicted sea level rise as the entire area of the CBD. Eurobodalla Shire Council management has been urged to “come clean” and provide all Shire residents with advice on which properties may be affected by sea level rise, flooding or erosion. Council has also been urged to take seriously a report from Surfside engineer Viv Sethi, which shows erosion at Surfside was man made, and to also review earlier consultancy reports whose credibility has now been called into question.. The request for more transparency on possibly threatened properties was made following a series of letters between Eurobodalla Coast Alliance President Russell Schneider and Council General Manager Catherine Dale arising from a letter sent by Dr Dale to local MP Andrew Constance. The letter is considered to have contemptuously dismiss as “a brief literature review” the report by Mr Sethi, an engineer, which has been supported and endorsed by eminent coastal engineer Angus Jackson It was clear that the Mayor was disappointed that her Mayoral Minute had been overturned by a vote of 8 against her on so it was not surprising to see her hand stay down voting against an amended motion drafted by the councillors to direct the consortium to fund its own report. In the end the motion adopted was that: Council not provide any financial support toward the request by property owners at Wharf Road to undertake another study of Coastal Management issues. Given the property owners are of the view, based on a report by Mr Sethi, that the coastal management issues at Wharf Road are primarily the result of the construction of the training wall (owned by the NSW Government) on the southern side of the Clyde River, that Council write again to the Office of Environment and Heritage on behalf of the subject property owners seeking funding for the study from the NSW Government.Should the property owners wish to undertake the study at their own cost, that Council provide technical assistance in preparing a brief and reviewing any draft study, should the property owners request such assistance.

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