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Approval granted to address ‘immediate’ concerns at severely eroded beach

Erosion could have a severe impact on Noosa Dog Beach.

Posted on February 28, 2024

Approval has been given for dredging to occur year-round at a popular beach in a bid to prevent erosion and the possibility of a breakthrough.

In January, Noosa Council announced it had selected a contractor to tackle severe erosion along Noosa Dog Beach at the Noosa Spit.

Historically, dredging has only been permitted to occur between April and September as per approval from the State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA).

This was to minimise the impacts on fish spawning and the flowering and fruiting of marine plants.

The council has since sought approval from SARA for a minor change to allow operations to be conducted year-round.

On February 19, SARA issued the council with its application decision, agreeing to remove the condition that restricted when work could occur.

The modified approval relates to council’s programmed Shoreline Erosion Management Plan dredging works at the Dog Beach, which is a key coastal protection barrier for the Noosa River.

Council pulled the pin on an earlier contract in August last year as the previously selected contractor couldn’t complete the work by the September deadline.

In its application to the referral agency, the council outlined its concerns if erosion was not addressed immediately as a result of the incomplete works.

“The continued erosion of Noosa Spit (Dog Beach) may result in a breakthrough of this area and likely result in significant environmental damage,” the application stated.

Acting director of infrastructure services Shaun Walsh said council had sought to modify the timeframes for the dredging to allow greater flexibility for dredge operations.

“This is particularly important in response to adverse weather and coastal events, and allows the critical works to expedited as soon as necessary,” Mr Walsh said.

“Clearly environmental management parameters as sought by relevant agencies will be implemented during any dredging work.”

Noosa Spit, including Dog Beach on the riverside.

While SARA has assessed the conditions, Sunshine Coast News understands a development application for a minor change to approval relating to the works was submitted to Noosa Council on February 16.

It is currently undergoing assessment and if approved an announcement will then be made on when the chosen contactor, Hall Contracting, will be begin dredging work in the area.

Once underway, the project will include sand nourishment and reprofiling of the beach, and see about 16,600 cubic metres of dredged sand used to create the two sand plugs.

“The project will create two sand plugs – one at each end of the beach – to redirect flowing water away from the shore and back to the centre of the channel,” Mayor Clare Stewart said in January.

While the Noosa River entrance channel has constantly changing hydrology, it is hoped that this new channel will improve navigation in the area of the river away from the congested riverbank.

Sand will be dredged from an approved area of the channel.

As part of the change to the condition, the council will also need to ensure it delivers an environmental offset to counterbalance the significant residual impacts to 373.8sqm of marine plants.


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