Myall River Controversy over sand

FISHERMAN: Stewart Paterson in favour of continued dredging.
FISHERMAN: Stewart Paterson in favour of continued dredging.

Sand. Too little on Jimmy’s Beach, too much in the river.

It has been a controversial issue that has plagued the Lower Myall Coast area for decades.

Year after year there has been divided opinion as to how to solve the problem.

Last week social media exploded again when trucks began dumping sand on Jimmy’s Beach from the stockpile accumulated after the dredging of the eastern channel.

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“The aim is to truck 4 thousand cubic metres of sand onto Jimmy’s over a 5 day period,” Drew Morris, Natural Assets Officer with MidCoast council told News Of The Area.

Last year The Boulevarde along Jimmy’s was badly undermined by the big storm that blew through in April.
Drew Morris said, “By putting sand there, it should stop the road from eroding, in the short term.”

The Council’s long term solution is to build a hopper, pumping system and pipeline to transfer sand from the 150 thousand cubic metre stockpile at Winda Woppa.

However, many locals believe continuing to dump sand on Jimmy’s will silt up the port again and be detrimental to sea life.

Others, like local fisherman Stewart Paterson, who has lived in the area for 30 years, say they have seen a lot of changes and not all for the good.

Stewart is all in favour of continued dredging.
“The river comes in further and goes much further out because now it’s draining,” he told News Of The Area.
“If they leave it, and it blocks up again, it’s going to be a big problem.”

The Baird Government has now put the financial burden of further dredging squarely back into the hands of MidCoast Council.

Front and centre in negotiations with the NSW Government and MidCoast Council is the Myall River Action Group (MRAG).

“The area locally referred to as the Gut is inundated with sand and virtually unusable,” says Gordon Grainger from the MRAG.

“We’re anxious to ensure that the natural river entrance remains clear and open into the future.’’
The Group has also labelled the current procedures in place to deal with the future of the lower Myall River as a bureaucratic nightmare.

To have your say, why not head to the community meeting with MidCoast Council being held at the Tea Gardens Baptist Church Wednesday 9 November at 6pm

By Margie TIERNEY

TRUCKING SAND: Jimmy’s Beach.
TRUCKING SAND: Jimmy’s Beach.

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