Beaches take a severe battering

SMASHED: Broken pipes at Shelly Beach as a result of the stormy seas.
SMASHED: Broken pipes at Shelly Beach as a result of the stormy seas. Re

NORTH Coast beaches have copped a battering for the second time in three weeks.

And the impacts will be devastating in terms of erosion.

Ballina Environment Society president Fiona Folan said it was "pretty sad" situation for beaches in the Ballina Shire.

"Scientists have been warning for years that climate change is not just about sea level rise," she said.

"It's also about increased frequency and intensity of weather events like this.

"It does have an impact on the beaches.

"The beaches here were severely impacted by sand mining last century, and rehabilitation failed after the mining stopped.

"The beaches are still suffering ... weather events like this do have long-term impacts on our coast."

Ms Folan said Sharpes Beach at Skennars Head was now down to its "last little bit" of dune.

"People are walking along the exposed rocks," she said.

"Wind has been ripping out the vegetation.

"If we recognise that we need to protect our coast, we need to make sure it is sensitively managed."

Meanwhile Byron beaches, such as Belongil, also took a hammering.

Belongil resident John Vaughan said the coastline "got smashed".

He said the onset of the bad weather coincided with a high tide early yesterday morning, but luckily it was a reasonably small high tide.

"We dodged a bullet," he said.

"If it had been a really high tide, we would have been in serious trouble.

"As it is the geobags have been levelled."

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