Jimmys Beach receives latest in ongoing sand renourishment campaigns

Council’s preferred beach-trucking method of sand replenishment. Photo: MidCoast Council.

RELENTLESS erosion of Jimmys Beach, Winda Woppa, has necessitated yet another sand renourishment campaign by MidCoast Council, scheduled for 15-26 May.

“Jimmys Beach is one of NSW Government’s fifteen identified coastal erosion hot spots, and sand renourishment is undertaken each autumn to provide a buffer to protect assets such as the road,” stated Robert Scott, Council’s Director of Engineering and Infrastructure Services, perhaps recalling a section of The Boulevarde literally falling into the sea in 2014.

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While unspecified, the renourishment sand will likely be trucked from the stockpile at Winda Woppa Point, given Council’s past claims trucking along the beach is the most economical way.

In 2019, a $4.2 million Sand Transfer System (STS) was built near the stockpile, specifically to pump that sand through permanent pipes, directly onto the erosion zone.

The STS installation followed decades of erosion events, and an important 2012 BMT-WBM report that stated, “Although pumping has high upfront costs, the lower operational costs make pumping considerably more economic than trucking when considered over a design life of more than ten years.”

Apparently convinced that this is not the case, and despite bearing those upfront costs a decade ago, Council persists with sand-trucking.

The same BMT-WBM report pronounced that truck usage would lead to further, ongoing road repairs, or environmental damage if beach-trucking were used.

“The STS has only been used twice: its commissioning in 2019, and responding to erosion events in 2021,” Richard Streamer, President of the Winda Woppa Preservation Association, told NOTA.

“It would take at least a week to bring in the diesel generator and other equipment necessary to restart the STS,” Mr Streamer added.

“The original long-term plan was for the beach to have a 10m buffer of sand out from the road and then a gentle slope to the water, with bi-annual top-ups of 10,000 m³ planned to maintain the buffer and protect the road,” Mr Streamer informed NOTA.

In Council’s own words, this latest campaign is definitely a “short-term solution”.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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