Surfside is running out of time and patience

There is Sea Level Rise and then there is Coastal Inundation. The residents of Surfside are under threat from both . Rosemary Deadman, the Convenor of the Surfside Residents Group, Eurobodalla Coastal Alliance has written to the Local Member, Andrew Constance in an open letter published below, I am writing to you to please give us the mitigation options you promised 2 years ago. Surfside has suffered massive erosion over the last couple of nights and we expect to get hammered again tonight. Some properties on McLeods beach had the sea nearly up to their back doors and on Myamba Parade, the sea has almost reached the back garden of several homes. There is very little dune left to keep the sea back and we fear another storm or two and we will get storm surge into our properties.

Andrew, we can't afford to wait until the Coastal Management Plan is ready and the studies should have been done 2 years ago as you promised. All the additional infrastructure in the river along with the recent heavy rainfalls is taking more of the sand out of the bay area and we have no more to give. Even Cullendulla has no dune left.

I request that you join available members of the PRG to inspect the damage and of course welcome Mayor Innes and the councillors to join you. I am attaching the photos but of course they are only snapshots and don't show the big picture. If you could make a time to meet, I will gather as many as of us as I can.

I look hearing from you soonest.

Above: Across the other side of the Clyde River on the Murra Mia Walkway the King Tide breached the pavement. Surprisingly Council treats one side of the river differently to the other and the CBD as well as Hanging Rock have not been brushed with the same 'planned retreat' latent threats that now affects Surfside properties. Photo Sue West (social media) Sea level rise is an increase in the average water level of the ocean. Coastal residents will, over time, experience higher tides and witness changes to the coastal and estuarine environments. Council say they recognise that sea level rise is a serious global problem that will require a response by all levels of government and that they have their legal responsibility to consider sea level rise by adopting the Interim Coastal Hazard Adaptation Code on 24 February 2015. Council suggests that the interim code recognises the potential long-term impacts of sea level rise and the need for appropriate planning responses to ensure "that we facilitate economic activity and development that is resilient."

"The interim code has a role in providing information to the community about potential current exposure to coastal hazards or future exposure to sea level rise. Having this information available allows landowners or potential investors to identify the risks and build resilience over the life of their investments."

Council advise that they have adopted the South Coast Regional Sea Level Rise Planning and Policy Response and sea level rise projections based on the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) RCP 6.0 emissions scenario taken from a benchmark year of 2014.:

  • 23cm sea level rise by the year 2050

  • 72cm sea level rise by the year 2100

Council say that their interim code does not stop property owners from applying to construct coastal protection works. "Owners may choose to forward an application to protect their properties, however, until we complete our Coastal Management Program, any applications to assess these works will need to be forwarded to the NSW Government for determination."

Council offers that "Coastal protection works can be very expensive and the approval process can be difficult. To overcome this constraint, property owners are offered the option to design a home that can be easily removed once the risk from sea level rise threatens the structure. Known as 'planned retreat', this option offers an affordable pathway to development approval. Planned retreat also prevents the land from being unnecessarily sterilised by providing an option that can both exploit the land in the short-term, while recognising the potential long-term risk."

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