Councillor Len Roberts sets record straight about Dredging and Jimmys Beach

Dear MCNOTA,

I am writing to debunk some of the urban myths “floating” around regarding Jimmys Beach and sand renourishment.

PeopleGreat Lakes Council Cr Len Roberts are right to be concerned, but that concern should be based on facts and not supposition.

Hopefully the following points will assist the discussion:

Great Lakes Council (GLC) area stops at the high water mark.

Thus the waterway and sand of Jimmys Beach “belongs” to Port Stephens Council or Crown Lands.

It is not a responsibility of GLC.

Our council only became involved as agitators for the community to protect the communities of Winda Woppa, Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest.

If Winda Woppa goes, then Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest and the river itself will not be protected and drastic changes will occur.

Winda Woppa almost went to Nelson Bay and formed an inner and outer harbour.

Vegetation and construction existed until it was washed away in huge storms in the 1880’s and 1920’s.

There are land titles completely covered by the water.

That sand has been trying to naturally reform

Regular dredging occurred until the 1990’s which allowed for the natural flow of the river and protected Jimmys Beach

Countless studies have been undertaken and there is substantial scientific understanding and solutions ranging from doing nothing to recreating Winda Woppa Spit.

Whilst the do nothing option costs nothing, the long term cost of loss of the towns is completely unacceptable.

The rebuilding option exceeds $30 million.

Sand renourishment until recently was environmentally sound, cost effective and utilised the natural process of sand flow $35,000 per year on average.

The state government licensed our council to do the renourishment on their behalf.

Council has a good working relationship with the Winda Woppa Asoociation who understands the importance of the renourishment program.

Council along with the Myall River Action Group has successfully lobbied for a permanent solution.

That solution should have started this month except for internal bungling within Crown Lands Department.

That bungling is indefensible and heads must roll.

Council is in the process of organising a public meeting for the experts to share their knowledge and the approved long term solution.

I appreciate the concern within the community and hope the above helps a constructive discussion on the importance of working together to implement the long term solution NOW.

 

Len Roberts

Councillor & Deputy Mayor

Great Lakes Council

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