Wamberal Beach erosion prompts action

Wamberal BeachWamberal Beach erosion following this week's storms.

Mayor Lisa Matthews has called for an extra ordinary meeting at 6.30pm on Monday July 20 to discuss the Central Coast Beach erosion at Wamberal and The Entrance North.

Wild weather and powerful tides have caused sections of Wamberal Beach to fall away, placing a number of houses at risk of collapse. Prompting a quick response from both the Council and State Government.

Earlier today (Friday) representatives from the NSW Government, Central Coast Council and the Wamberal community met on-site to survey the major damage.

This group brings together the significant resources of the NSW Government to assist Central Coast Council put in place both immediate and long-term solutions to coastal erosion.

“We would welcome a natural disaster declaration for the Central Coast that would mean residents who have been impacted by the recent event can seek assistance and support to recover. Funding would also be made available to Council to repair infrastructure impacted by the storms,” Mayor Matthews said.

“I would like to thank the Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and Member for Terrigal, Adam Crouch for his support in identifying other potential funding options available, which are currently being investigated”. 

Mayor Lisa Matthews said she would also like to see the Premier visit the region and see firsthand the impact the disaster has had on Central Coast residents and infrastructure.  

The low-pressure system that hit the East Coast of Australia brought damaging winds and waves, with swells reaching up to 5-metres.

Beachfront houses along Ocean View Drive have been left hanging dangerously over the unstable sandbank, with balconies and yards torn away from their foundations.

This is not the first time severe erosion has threatened the beach with a photo dating back to 1978 showing a home in pieces after the ground collapsed below.

Infrastructure has also been threatened at The North Entrance, Umina, Killcare and Avoca.

Director for Environment and Planning at Central Coast Council, Scott Cox, spoke to the ABC about the current situation

“Public work engineers inspected about 20 properties last night. There were four properties where we asked residents to evacuate,” Cox said.

He was also asked by the ABC why construction has been allowed to continue despite the risks.

“Maybe an approach forward is more than just piering itself. I heard a story the other day that one of the properties just having to pier down 15 metres just to get a solid structure in place.

“Maybe future DA’s need to consider the construction of a seawall at that particular time, or alternatively wait for a longer-term solution for all the properties,” Cox said.

Jacinta Counihan

(Updated 5.45pm Friday, July 17, 2020)

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