Big sand plan set to save Duranbah
ICONIC Duranbah Beach is but a shell of its former self.
Weeks of wild weather and massive swells have ravaged Duranbah, eroding tonnes of sand.
However, a rescue plan is in the works, with 40,000 cubic metres of sand to be pumped from the Tweed River onto the popular surfing beach.
A meeting held yesterday morning on Duranbah's shores, between Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing project manager Ian Taylor and representatives of Tweed Shire Council and the Kirra Point Committee resulted in a decision to pump excess sand to where it was needed the most.
Although the sand pump is part of a scheduled two-yearly fill-up, the 40,000 cubic metres is double the amount needed in recent years, according to Coolangatta surfer and Kirra Point Committee member Wayne Deane.
“This may be the biggest amount of sand required to transform Duranbah back to its former self,” Mr Deane said.
“We have these meetings at least once a year where we reassess how much sand will be needed.
“Because of the direction Duranbah is facing it is susceptible to large swells, and it copped a hammering over the past few months.”
Pumping is expected to begin shortly after the Easter long weekend, when conditions are expected to calm.
“We're hoping for a south-easterly airflow so sand travels up the coast,” Mr Deane said.
The establishment of a dunal system was also discussed to further negotiate swells.
Mr Deane said if current weather patterns continue the 40,000 cubic metres of sand may become the benchmark for future instalments.
“The weather is nothing new, it is just the fact that they are hanging around for such long periods of time,” he said. “If it keeps this up we will need this large amount of sand more often.
Duranbah Beach is directly affected by the sand bypass project because maintenance of a deeper Tweed River entrance means not as much sand moves across to replenish the beach.
A project agreement made between the Queensland and New South Wales governments provides nearly 10 per cent of the total sand to be discharged at Duranbah in accordance to a nourishment plan developed with the Tweed Shire Council.
Avid Coolangatta surfer Gabriel Riveiro was on Duranbah Beach yesterday and was astounded by how much the beach had eroded.
“Kirra has too much sand and Duranbah has none at all,” the 23-year-old said.
Mr Riveiro, who visits Duranbah most days, said he has watched as the beach deteriorated over the past two months.
“This is the worst I have seen it in a while. It's losing its surfer's appeal.”
Another beachgoer, Kingscliff man John Hansen, said it was the worst he had seen in five years.
“I'm down here often and I've just seen it waste away more than ever over the past few months,” Mr Hansen said.
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