Posted on October 24, 2022
The federal government have put millions of dollars on the table to begin the process of restoring sand to Stockton Beach.
The coastline has been largely washed away, with full access to the beach impeded, due to the relentless loss of sand during wild weather events.
On Wednesday, Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon announced $4.7 million, along with City of Newcastle who have chipped in $1.5 million, to get the ball rolling on sand nourishment.
The NSW Government applied for the Commonwealth cash which is from the Coastal and Esturaine Risk Mitigation Program. The state put in an application for the funding so it could deliver 300,000 cubic metres of sand to the beach to address the ongoing erosion issues.
It will be used to fund feasibility studies to identify additional sources of sand as well as cover the cost of environmental approvals, which are required to access offshore sand deposits. This will provide assurance for ongoing beach nourishment, which City of Newcastle says will have to occur every ten years, as long as the breakwall remains in place.
Ms Claydon says the application identified that there is 300,000 cubic metres of sand near the entrance of the Hunter River.
“That is good, high quality, clean sand that will be able to be restored and it will be deposited in the first couple of kilometres at the southern end of Stockton beach.
“This is sand, that we don’t need an offshore mining licence to secure, so it is the sand that we can access immediately, while those other maters are resolved,” Ms Claydon said.
City of Newcastle says the long-term solution is to secure 2.4 million cubic metres of sand needed for an initial mass nourishment and will need annual top ups.
As part of the latest funding, multiple sources of sand – including from the north arm of the Hunter River and the Stockton Bight – will be investigated, to build flexibility in the mass-nourishment strategy.
The NSW Government has welcomed the funding announcement, with Deputy Premier Paul Toole saying it’s a win for the local community, the Stockton Beach Taskforce and the NSW Government.
“The project put forward by the NSW Government provides a pathway to source and deliver 300,000 cubic metres of sand – the equivalent of about 120 Olympic-sized swimming pools – to prevent buffering against future storms, while further work to locate additional sand sources for longer term restoration is undertaken,” Mr Toole said.