The Member for Bega, Andrew Constance wants Long Beach residents to know that the announcement made on Monday 25 February surrounding the $5m infrastructure investment at Surfside includes them so that they are engaged in the plan, and given confidence that any infrastructure development has no unintended consequences for their foreshore.
“The engagement of consultants GHD, and government agencies including RMS and the Office of Environment is about finding the best engineering solution for stabilising Surfside only and not about major infrastructure at Long Beach.
“We must ensure there is no unintended consequences as a result of any new infrastructure at Surfside and it is therefore important that Long Beach is included in this process.
“I am advised through the Long Beach Residents Association that the community is very happy that they do not have the high level of risk associated with coastal erosion that Surfside does, and that the management of their beach is to be left alone.
“I know there has been previous contention between local government and the community, however what the NSW Government is doing is focussed on stabilising Surfside,” Mr Constance said. Earlier in the week the following media release was issued by Colleen Krestensen, President, Long Beach Community Association
Batemans Bay Erosion Task Force - Long Beach concerns
The Long Beach Community Association LBCA questions the inclusion of a focus on Long Beach in the Erosion Task Force announced by Andrew Constance on Monday 25 February. However the LBCA cautiously supports the Task Force and the opportunity to focus on the impact of Council infrastructure, on water and sand flow to the northern beaches.
The President of the LBCA, Colleen Krestensen expressed concern that the Task Force was announced as a response to alleged concerns of residents of Long Beach about erosion. “ The biggest concern of Long Beach residents is government authorities labeling Long Beach as at high risk of erosion and imminent coastal inundation when this is not informed by experience of residents and evidence. This can cause financial, social and environmental harm, particularly if knee jerk policy reactions are considered”.
If the study is to allow proper analysis of the sand and water flow issues associated with existing and new Council infrastructure ahead of the construction of the new Bridge, the Task Force will be welcomed by the LBCA. “We hope the Task Force will help to focus action where it is needed, and not simply consider hypothetical modeling not informed by local evidence”.
“We are sympathetic to the issues facing our friends at Surfside and Wharf Road for whom action is needed. We welcome the Taskforce’s attention to their particular issues, and note their need for engineering solutions. But Long Beach is not currently subject to the same level of risk. We don’t want engineering or other solutions which do harm to our natural resources or for which the social, environmental and financial costs exceed the perceived long term benefits. “
“We note the commitment to genuine community engagement” Ms Krestensen said. “It will be vital that community organisations such as ours are engaged in a timely and genuine way as partners in the discussion”. The LBCA also welcomed recent comments by Andrew Constance indicating his opposition to the policy of ‘planned retreat’ in the context of Coastal Management policy.
The Long Beach Community Association provides a voice for Long Beach residents on issues impacting the community. It currently has just over 240 members, and is understood to be the largest community association on the South Coast.
Recent studies have shown Long Beach is in good shape. We have the protective factors of headlands, reefs, a protected aspect facing the estuary, and an existing rock revetment wall on the foreshore. The evidence has shown our beach has not been subject to net erosion, to date. We are not complacent about sea level rise – but we are higher above sea level than the Batemans Bay CBD.