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Storm proves more sand is the solution: SOS

Wamberal pictured on April 6 after the storm, with the tide mark showing the sand provided a buffer between the water and residences

Posted on April 15, 2024

The Wamberal Save Our Sand (SOS) group says the huge storm which hit the area on Friday, April 5, showed that a wide, sandy Wamberal Beach is the best form of coastal protection.

“SOS inspected the beach on Saturday morning and observed that Friday’s storm surges never reached the properties at the back of the beach because there was an adequate sand buffer,” spokesperson Corinne Lamont said.

“Locals know sand has accumulated at Wamberal Beach and other NSW beaches over the past year, making them wider than they have been in a long time, moving the shoreline seaward.

“If Central Coast Council Administrator Rik Hart had inspected the sandy beach on the weekend, he would have been convinced to back sand nourishment, not a vertical seawall.”

Lamont said SOS had repeatedly asked Hart to pass a resolution to stop the proposed Wamberal Beach seawall and to instead back sand nourishment for coastal protection, to no avail.

The group says the controversial complex matter needs to be dealt with by an elected Council later this year.

“SOS is very concerned that Council is misleading the community about (its) efforts to investigate sand nourishment as a coastal protection option for Wamberal Beach,” Lamont said.

“There is no evidence that Council has investigated sand nourishment alone; they have always led with the seawall.

“Council’s new Wamberal Beach FAQ page suggests that sand nourishment has been dismissed and not investigated as an option for Wamberal Beach because Council has incorrectly assumed mass sand nourishment at Wamberal Beach would be private property protection, therefore making offshore sand sources unavailable.

“NSW legislation and policies do allow for offshore sand recovery from NSW coastal waters for beach nourishment if it can be demonstrated that it is for a broader public benefit.

“The broad public benefit that mass sand nourishment would provide Wamberal Beach would incidentally also provide private property protection.

“This is what we saw last weekend – the nice wide sandy beach ensured the waves didn’t reach the houses at the back of the beach.”

Lamont said SOS representatives were arranging a date to meet with Minister for Climate Change Penny Sharpe’s senior advisor to discuss sand nourishment as a solution for Wamberal Beach.

“Rik Hart has confirmed that he will join the meeting should his diary permit,” she said.

Council has rejected an initial development application lodged by the Wamberal Protection Association (WPA) to build a vertical seawall in the middle section of the beach, between Surfer’s Lane and The Ruins, as being inadequate in several areas.

SOS says Council should reject the application altogether and investigate mass sand nourishment.


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