AFTER a short respite, the East Coast Low staged an impressive return from the 25 July with further heavy rainfalls and winds smashing an already badly eroded Jimmys Beach and causing localised flooding.
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The MidCoast Council reported that there was insufficient time between these two weather events to rebuild the beach sand buffer using the Sand Transfer System (STS).
It takes at least two to three weeks to set the STS ready for pumping with the last similar task taking eight weeks to transfer approximately 30,000m³ to Jimmys.
However, the Council did mobilise a bulldozer to scrape sand to recreate a buffer in front of the exposed section and just in time.
Other protective measures, including the subsurface stabilisation of the road (The Boulevard) and the hay bale, remain in place.
Moving forward, the Council is considering transferring sand via the dredge to Jimmys earlier this August instead of September, as well as replacing the hay bales.
The weather also resulted in NSW National Parks closing all beaches in Myall Lakes to all 4WD.
Penalties apply for non-compliance with the decision to be reviewed on 28 July.
Back to the MidCoast Council which conducted an Ordinary Meeting on 22 July that was webcast and recorded, in compliance with COVID conditions.
Questions continue about big increases in the cost of consultants (from around $2.6, to $7m) and staff costs, as well as into the so far missing ten-year Long Term Financial Plan needed to support strategic planning, understand funding requirements, and improve community consultation.
Separately and on request, the Council granted permission to ABC Radio, Myall Coast Radio and 2Bob Radio to reproduce audio recordings of their meetings.
The next Ordinary Meeting is 26 August.
COVID remains a serious issue for NSW with 151 active cases, increasing over the last week.
Local hotspots (with 3 active cases as at 26 July) include Anna Bay, Boat Harbour, Bobs Farm, Corlette, Fingal Bay, Gan Gan, Nelsons Bay, Salamander Bay, Shoal Bay and Soldiers Point.
The Port Stephens Ferry Service has again been suspended to keep communities separated and safe.
Entry restrictions are now in place for most hotels and clubs, for all residents of government identified hotspots.
NSW Health urges everyone to have a COVID-19 test and isolate themselves right away if any respiratory symptoms like fever, cough, sore/scratchy throat, or shortness of breath (even if very mild) appear.
Re-testing is recommended each time symptoms develop.
Locally, protective mask sewing is up and running with handmade reusable soft cloth masks available at the Two Fat Bakers and from local craft associations with lots of patterns and ideas available online.
Lastly, needing to entertain young children during winter rains and social constraints?
The MidCoast Council library is running free online Zoom Storytime sessions featuring children’s book readings and singing.
Register on the MidCoast Council website under Events Listings or https://www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/Events.
By Sandra MURRAY