City of Newcastle call for state-wide sand nourishment plans

Coastal erosion at Stockton is a major issue for the City of Newcastle. Photo: Peter Stoop.

THE City of Newcastle is calling on the NSW Government to plan strategically and develop a state-wide approach for a sustainable sand nourishment program to support Local Councils as they develop Coastal Management Programs under the NSW Government’s coastal management framework.

Following the increasing frequency of significant weather events that cause erosion damage to beaches along the NSW coastline, local councils may be prompted to include sand nourishment as a solution to managing coastal hazards as part of their individual Coastal Management Programs.

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Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes is strongly advocating for the requirement for a State-led sand nourishment strategy, and will be discussing the need at the NSW Deputy Premier’s Stockton Beach Taskforce meeting this week.

“We’ve developed a Coastal Management Program for Stockton and identified that we need an initial 2.4 million cubic metres of sand on Stockton Beach as part of our mass sand nourishment strategy and then annual sand top ups to maintain beach amenity and the buffer that mass sand nourishment will provide the Stockton community,” Lord Mayor Nelmes said.

The City of Newcastle has done notable work investigating and understanding the planning and approval pathways for sourcing and accessing the sand required to deliver a mass sand nourishment strategy for Stockton Beach.

“Our Council won’t be the only council to identify sand nourishment as a solution to managing coastal hazards and we expect many councils will include sand nourishment in their coastal management programs,” Lord Mayor Nelmes said.

Nelmes says that a sustainable sand nourishment program which is developed and led by the NSW Government would provide significant efficiencies and economies of scale for local councils.

“The City of Newcastle has already committed significant resources to completing investigations and to understanding environmental impacts and approval pathways for what will rapidly become a matter of state significance for the NSW Government, so it makes sense to have a holistic approach and solution to the problem.

“We would like to see the NSW Government lead the collaborative effort that is needed across the state to develop a sustainable sand nourishment program including approvals and ownership of licensing for possible offshore sand extraction,” Mayor Nelmes concluded.

The City of Newcastle was one of the first Councils in the State to have its Coastal Management Program for Stockton certified, under the Coastal Management Act 2016, by the NSW Minister for Local Government in August 2020.

City of Newcastle has invested $4.5 million on coastal protection measures over the two years prior to the Stockton CMP being certified in August 2020.

The cost to implement coastal management actions including the initial mass sand nourishment, outlined in the Stockton Coastal Management Program 2020, to provide a buffer for the coastline and beach amenity at Stockton will be $27.5 million.


Trucks delivering sand to Stockton Beach. Photo: Phoebe Moloney.

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