State Government will not pay for The Entrance North emergency erosion control

Erosion control work underway at The Entrance North earlier this year

A squabble is brewing over who should pay for the emergency works that held back coastal erosion at The Entrance North and Wamberal.

Central Coast Council says the State Government directed Council to do the work when storms hit in July and flagged that it would pay the costs.

Now the State Government says it is only willing to pay half the Wamberal costs and none of the costs for The Entrance North emergency erosion control.

Cr Louise Greenaway said the State Government needed to reimburse Council.

The Entrance MP, David Mehan, will raise the issue in State Parliament, with a Notice of Motion calling on the State to pay the $780,000 bill for the emergency works along the beach at The Entrance North.

Mayor Lisa Matthews said the Local Emergency Operations Controller, a senior police officer, (LEOCON) had directed Council to do the work.

Environment and Planning Director, Scott Cox, said Council had now been told that the State Government would pay for 50 percent of the work at Wamberal and for none of the work at North Entrance.

The total cost he said was $2.8M.

Cr Jilly Pilon said she understood that Council had raised concerns about not being paid for the emergency works and she understood that Terrigal MP, Adam Crouch, wrote to CEO Gary Murphy in September saying that on July 17 the Minister for Local Government had committed to help with funding.

That letter said the Minister for Local Government had told Council it would rapidly assess any funding requests.

Director Cox said staff had put in two applications under the Estuary and Coastal Grant Program, the Significant Open Coastal Hazards grant funding and the response had been that no funding would be given for The Entrance North as part of that grant program and the Department would pay 50 percent of the costs associated with Wamberal.

“Staff then had to amend their application … and staff were going to work on other ways of perhaps writing to the Minister about outstanding costs that weren’t going to be paid through the grant process,” Cox said.

He said the The Entrance North was knocked back because it wasn’t mentioned in the Gosford area Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP).

He said the CZMP (for the former Wyong area) was not certified.

However, Cox said emergency works weren’t in the CZMP for Gosford area either.

The CZMP for the former Gosford area identified that the extent of emergency work would be beach nourishment and that emergency works would be the private landowners’ responsibility.

“But Wamberal was different.

“We were given direction from the LEOCON to do work and we were also directed by the LEOCON to do work at North Entrance,” Cox said.

Meanwhile, a Council spokesperson said Council staff remained in discussions with the State Government to try to recover all costs.

Merilyn Vale