Posted on May 17, 2023
There’s some movement on the long-delayed plans to sort out fixing beach erosion on Stockton Beach which has stripped foreshores and led to the loss, or near-loss of buildings.
The Department for Regional NSW has been directed to take charge of the Stockton Beach project as part of a shake-up to drive restoration works forward.
With that department given the responsibility for the project, the government says it can finally move forward.
As part of the new agreement, NSW Public Works will be retained as the project manager for the restoration works that involves initial dredging and sand placement on the beach and investigations to find suitable sand options to support a long-term solution to erosion issues.
Minister for Regional NSW, Tara Moriarty is now the Chair for the Stockton Beach Taskforce which was established in 2020.
She said the $6.2 million Commonwealth-Newcastle Council project has been held back by a lack of clarity over who is responsible for fixing the problem and put in the “too hard” basket.
“The Department of Regional NSW will take charge as lead co-ordinator and use its expertise and experience to help get restoration works on track. We look forward to continuing to work with the City of Newcastle to advance the project.”
“Initial work will help create a blueprint for the Department of Planning and Environment to rollout the NSW Government’s $21 million election commitment for longer-term mass sand nourishment at Stockton,
“The Taskforce will work closely with the Department of Regional NSW to provide local advice and a community perspective on the urgent repair works and any challenges that arise,” Tara Moriarty said.
Minister for the Hunter, Tim Crakanthorp, welcomed the new arrangements and the coming Taskforce meeting, which will be the first held since June 2022.
“Since being tasked with progressing the works funded by the Commonwealth grant, NSW Public Works has continued to progress necessary environmental approvals, has worked with the Port of Newcastle to understand and finalise dredging boundaries, approvals and licenses, undertaken market soundings and is preparing tenders for initial dredging works.
“It is timely for the Taskforce to come together in the coming weeks and be updated on the new arrangements and the project’s progress,” he added.
The Taskforce will convene for a meeting next month.