Opposition to seawall building

Wamberal Beach Save Our Sand will join forces with Surfrider foundation Australia to fight a seawall for Wamberal

The Wamberal Beach Save Our Sand (SOS) community group will join forces with Surfrider Foundation Australia in the campaign to fight to protect the natural amenity of Wamberal Beach and oppose a seawall.

SOS spokesperson, Felicity Phillips, said Surfrider Foundation, also busy fighting the renewal of the PEP11 gas exploration licence off our coastline, had been advising the SOS campaign.

“Brendan Donohue, President of Surfrider Northern Beaches, has been talking to us about their famous Line in the Sand protest against the Collaroy/Narrabeen Seawall 18 years ago and we are very excited to replicate that campaign on the Central Coast in the not-too-distant future,” Phillips said.

“We believe a seawall will ruin the amenity of the beach, reducing it to no wider than one metre and we want a guarantee of sand nourishment.

“We know from the experiences of other coastal communities impacted by erosion that there is currently no guaranteed source of sand to supply promised nourishment.

“The Task Force examining solutions for the erosion problem at Wamberal continues to meet with the resident owners of the waterfront homes monthly.

“Wamberal Beach SOS and other community stakeholders would like to have been offered monthly meetings like the homeowners, not just treated as an after-thought when we started to speak out.

“We wrote to Central Coast Council Administrator, Dick Persson, two weeks ago requesting a meeting.

“I know he is busy, but he has been making public remarks about Wamberal, so we look forward to having the opportunity to meet him too.

“We were disappointed with the recent ‘public consultation’ sessions held at Wamberal SLSC and Erina.

“Community members were given inconsistent and sometimes conflicting information.

“No detailed proposals were put on the table.”

Hugh Naven, also a spokesperson for Wamberal Beach SOS, said the results from the information sessions and surveys have subsequently been released.

“What I believe is most important to note is that there is nothing about the number of people who wanted or didn’t want a permanent revetment wall,” Naven said.

“I was also disappointed in the fact that only two conclusions were drawn from the information session and were just that we want a sandy beach and that the issue be addressed.

“I think a lot more was brought up that needs to be recognised and addressed, and I am disappointed to see the lack of concern for other issues.

“The most interesting statistic from this whole thing would have to be the fact that only 5 per cent believe the beach is very good since the emergency works.

‘Hopefully Council see that stat for what it is.”

Justin Hickey of SOS said modelling shows a revetment wall at Wamberal will lead to erosion of the beach and the loss of amenity for future generations.

“The permanent loss of a beach to our community to protect private assets is not a solution in our view,” Hickey said.

The Community Environment Network (CEN) has also offered its support to Wamberal Beach SOS.

“Council and the NSW Government needed to consider the impact any engineering solution might have on the Wamberal and Terrigal Lagoons in addition to the amenity of the beach,” CEN CEO Sam Willis said.

Information Source: Media release, Dec 22 Wamberal Beach Save Our Sand

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