Funding for design of a Wamberal Beach solution

Member for Terrigal, Adam Crouch, presenting a cheque to Phil Hudson of the Wamberal Protection Association with Clr Jilly PilonMember for Terrigal, Adam Crouch, presenting a cheque to Phil Hudson of the Wamberal Protection Association with Clr Jilly Pilon

Member for Terrigal, Adam Crouch, on October 19, announced $207,500 for Central Coast Council to help design a seawall and implement a beach nourishment program at Wamberal Beach. Crouch said Wamberal Beach had a long history of impacts from coastal erosion events.

“The grant will be used to help decide the most effective potential works to protect against the impacts of future erosion,” he said. “It means Council will be able to obtain the evidence required to plan, investigate and design future works. “This is the fi rst funding milestone in reaching a longterm solution for Wamberal,” he added. Crouch said the grant is indicative of a successful State Government-Council partnership.

“I thank The Entrance Ward Councillor, Jilly Pilon, for joining with local residents, the Wamberal Protection Association, the NSW Coastal Alliance and myself to advocate for a safe and permanent solution for Wamberal Beach,” Crouch said. “State agencies, including OEH and the EPA, have been working collaboratively with Council through the Project Working Group to reach this outcome.

“I encourage Council to continue design work to provide a long-term protection solution for the millions of dollars of public and private assets on Ocean View Dve.” Clr Pilon said the funding would stabilise and protect the unique coastal environment. “It is very encouraging to see that Council has been successful in receiving a $207,500 Coastal and Estuary Grant from the State Government to address this erosion hot spot with seawall design work and beach nourishment,” Pilon said. “This is a step in the right direction towards assisting the ongoing issues of asbestos and dangerous rubble along Wamberal Beach since the storms in 2016,” she said.

Central Coast Mayor, Jane Smith, said Council welcomed the funding. Mayor Smith said a working group had been established to implement the Coastal Zone Management Plan options for Wamberal Beach which also considers erosion measures. This funding would be the catalyst to really tackle the complexity of erosion at Wamberal Beach. “We have had the right people around the table for some time, working together to progress this issue and this great funding announcement today means we can really progress work towards a tangible solution,” Smith said.

“This funding will kick start the detailed investigation and design work for possible options to find a permanent solution, including a revetment or terminal wall. “There are a number of challenges to work through and this is not about delivering a quick fix, we’re committed to delivering sustainable management measures for the safety of our community into the future,” she said.

Wamberal Protection Association President, Phil Hudson, has acknowledged the significance of the announcement by the Member for Terrigal. “Our association is delighted with this news, as it represents a ‘stake in the ground’, metaphorically speaking, in that it signals a firm commitment of intent by Council, working collaboratively with the NSW Government and State agencies such as Office of Environment and Heritage and the Environment Protection Authority, to commence the process in a visible and accountable way,” Hudson said.

“The fruition of a Lagoon to Lagoon protective solution for Wamberal Beach is of paramount importance to the Wamberal community, from both a protective and a security standpoint, and is of no less importance to the broader Central Coast community, in terms of its commercial, economic and tourism development opportunities,” he said. “We are extremely grateful to Adam Crouch for his support, drive and commitment in supporting our Association, and more importantly supporting the Central Coast Council in their Coastal Management endeavours.

“We also acknowledge the efforts of Councillor, Jilly Pilon, who has recognised the importance of this project and has been incredibly supportive. “We also recognise the efforts of all members of Council’s Project Working Group who have been driving this project ever since Council’s Coastal Zone Management Plan was certified by the NSW Government in 2017.

“It is now time to take this ‘stake’ and turn it into a permanent solution for the Central Coast community as quickly as possible.” Association Secretary, Margaret Brice, said the impact of a lagoon-to-lagoon revetment on flooding of non beachfront properties around those Wamberal and Terrigal lagoons would be addressed as part of the design process.

She said examples of other revetments estimated costs from $10,000 per square metre up to $20,000. Two representatives from the Wamberal Protection Association have had positions on the Council’s Project Working Group, which has been meeting regularly for almost a year. “It has taken us two years to get to this point,” Brice said, adding that the Protection Association had “really activated” its efforts following the June 2016 storms. “The only long-term solution is to go lagoon to lagoon,” she said. “It cannot be done privately, there are 80 properties involved, so Council needs to govern and manage the process,” she said.

Source: Media release, Oct 19 Ben Sheath, office of Adam Crouch Media release, Oct 22 Interview, Oct 22 Margaret Brice, Wamberal