Posted on October 2, 2023
City of Newcastle (CN) and local residents are applauding the news that a contractor has been appointed to repair Stockton Beach next month.
RN Dredging, selected by the Department of Regional NSW’s Public Works unit, will deliver the first 100,000 cubic metres of sand in October.
It follows on from a Labor election commitment to deliver much-needed mass nourishment at Stockton Beach.
The NSW Government is now working closely with council and Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes to coordinate the initial $6.2 million phase of the project to tackle coastal erosion.
“We’re delighted that work to renourish the beach will get underway within weeks,” she said.
“Since Minister for Regional NSW Tara Moriarty reconvened the Stockton Beach Taskforce in June, CN has liaised productively with state government agencies to get sand on the beach.
“I’m pleased that this work has contributed to their rapid efforts to rectify the situation.”
During this early renourishment operation, sand will be placed in the surf zone at the southern end of Stockton Beach, which will provide amenity improvement and protection against further erosion.
Sections of the beach may be closed intermittently during the project and a 200m exclusion zone will also be placed around the dredger while work is being carried out.
Given the importance of weather and tide patterns, exact timing is set to be announced closer to the beginning of the operation.
The next steps for Stockton include progressing investigations into the longer-term sources of potential sand reserves and a delivery plan for the $21 million election commitment.
“I am pleased to announce the first 100,000 cubic metres of sand will be dredged and sprayed into the water off Stockton Beach during October,” Ms Moriarty said.
“This is an important step in delivering on our promise while demonstrating our commitment to resolving ongoing erosion issues.
“A specialist dredging vessel will be used to deposit sand collected from an outer shipping channel of Newcastle Harbour, known as ‘Area E’.
“Working alongside the City of Newcastle and Cr Nelmes, we have secured all the necessary approvals and licences required to proceed with this vital work.”
Minister for the Hunter Yasmin Catley also welcomed the update.
“This initial work is informing a blueprint for the rollout of the NSW Government’s $21 million election commitment for mass sand nourishment at Stockton,” she said.
“This is great news for those who have been waiting a long time to see this kind of real action.
“The community should take heart that this government isn’t just talking about the problem, it is doing something about it.
“We have a dredging vessel that’s weeks away from delivering the first placement of sand as investigations continue into longer term solutions.”