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Erosion works at Brooms Head Main Beach 'all wrong': locals

Brooms Head from above
Brooms Head from above Adam Hourigan

BROOMS Head locals have complained that erosion prevention works being carried out at the village's Main Beach are inappropriate and that Clarence Valley Council has ignored measures suggested by residents.

Toni Cotten, who took today's front-page photo of machinery bogged on Wednesday morning, said many locals felt the CVC was not listening to the years of experience in the village that suggests the current plans to augment the current rock wall would do little to protect the beach from erosion.

Mrs Cotten said the creation of a rock "groin" about 50m south of the boat ramp about a year ago was a step in the right direction but it wasn't big enough and a number of residents had taken to extending the rock structure with smaller rocks.

"We were told to stop because of the sea urchins," said long-term Brooms resident Royce Marsh, who shared Mrs Cotten's view that local knowledge on the worsening erosion issues had been largely ignored.

Mr Marsh said most of the erosion was caused by a prevailing southerly swell.

Traditionally, he said, a north-easterly swell would come along from time to time and replenish sand on the beach but the nor-easters were becoming few and far between in recent times.

Mrs Cotten and Mr Marsh say they represented the views of a larger group of residents who believed the council should build more and larger groins all the way down the beach rather than build on the revetment walls.

Mr Marsh said the problem began between 50-60 years ago when rocks from the lagoon were removed partly to build a nearby retaining wall and partly for other unknown purposes.

"The oldies reckon they need to put back the rocks they took out," Mrs Cotten said.

Clarence Valley Council general manager Scott Greensill said the council had certainly listened to residents' views but it had the right to listen to experts in the field.

The "Brooms Head Beach Coastal Study including Lake Cakora Estuary Management Plan" was under way.

The $120,000 study was funded jointly by CVC and the NSW Government.

Mr Greensill said the study addressed the complex coastal processes that had contributed to ongoing erosion at Brooms Head and would identify a range of possible management options that might address these impacts.

"This will include reviewing past actions that have occurred at that beach and consider the public input that was invited this year," Mr Greensill said.

"It is anticipated that preliminary results from this process will be available in the early part of 2013."

He said the current works were approved by CVC at its October meeting and involved the short- term repair of a rock revetment wall. An initial allocation of $100,000 was approved for this purpose.

Additionally, the rock wall will be extended to a height that will help to mitigate average wave-height impact, up to a maximum distance of 50 metres to the north of the current wall. A sum of $30,000 has been allowed for this.

Topics:  clarence valley council, erosion


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