The Myall Coast community will have something to celebrate this New Year with work commencing to ensure Mungo Brush Road remains open and continues to provide access to Myall Lakes National Park.
The project includes relocating of a 3.2 km section of the road affected by sand movement from Dark Point Dunes.
The dune sheet is currently moving inland at a rate of three to six metres a year which will start to block the road within two years and bury it under eight metres of sand within 50 years without intervention.
A National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) spokesperson said subject to conditions, approval has been given to proceed with the project.
The proposed route is currently being surveyed and the road design stage is expected to be completed by June 2017.
Myall Coast Chamber of Commerce President Jessica Harris and Bulahdelah Chamber President John Sahyoun said maintaining access to the National Park will greatly benefit the community and businesses in the region.
“We’re really pleased with the work NPWS have done to ensure the road will remain open and will continue to allow passenger access to the town,” Jessica said.
“It is especially important as it will provide continued access to the local national parks and tourist facilities, not only in Mungo Brush but also in the Myall Lakes.”
Jessica and John told News Of The Area the road is an important tourist route linking Hawks Nest and Bulahdelah.
“The road brings thousands of tourists each year who are attracted to the National Park, boosting the economy in the region,” John said.
“By having a safe and reliable road, locals and visitors can continue to explore the natural beauty of this area.”
The NPWS spokesperson said subject to funding being made available, construction on relocating the section of road will commence in the 2017/2018 financial year.
NPWS will continue to monitor the movement of Dark Point dunes as part of the ongoing ecological monitoring plan.
The dunes are culturally significantly to the Worimi people and are a declared Aboriginal Place.
By Daniel SAHYOUN