STANDING FIRM: Mayor Barry Longland disagrees with a call for retreat. Photo: John Gass TWE240212retreat
STANDING FIRM: Mayor Barry Longland disagrees with a call for retreat. Photo: John Gass TWE240212retreat

Retreat from beach: report

TWEED Mayor Barry Longland said there would be no retreat from Kingscliff's foreshore.

Cr Longland made the assurance after the council received advice from the NSW Minister for the Environment Robyn Parker that retreat had to be one option considered as a long-term solution.

"A planned retreat is not being considered by council at all," Cr Longland said.

"Retreat is an absolutely last resort and we will do what we can within our power to protect the beach, not just for the people of Kingscliff but as a valuable asset for the Tweed.

"The council is firmly committed to Kingscliff beach protection and how we will achieve that."

Cr Longland said retreat was one of several options the minister suggested be explored as part of the Coastal Zone Management Plan.

"Planned retreat is an option for some parts of the NSW coast, but this is an urban coastal area," he said.

"I think what they are saying was that the events are happening and they were not issues that were confronting us in 2005.

"The terminal wall is the long-term solution."

Cr Longland said the council was pursuing funding to create a permanent fix to the foreshore loss due to erosion.

Erosion has claimed metres of foreshore at Kingscliff, forcing the council to take emergency steps to save the surf club and neighbouring holiday park.

Late last year the council was required to move cabins in the holiday park that were under threat of falling into the sea.

In a report from the NSW Coastal Panel to the minister, it was stated that findings in a 2005 Coastal Management Plan suggested a long-term planned retreat involving the more permanent solution of the relocation of the holiday park had merits.

"This option would likely allow the area a buffer zone and help to maintain or rest the natural processes that occur at present," the report stated.

"The long-term planned retreat options excluded the relocation of the bowls club due to the previous construction of protection works in front of the bowls club."

On that advice from the panel, Ms Parker recommended that retreat be "thoroughly investigated" as part of the coastal plan.

At Tuesday's meeting the council voted unanimously to follow the minister's recommendation to update the coastal management plan.

The councillors went on to recognise that any option to accept retreat would threaten the town's business district.

A Department of Environment spokesman said the recommendations were consistent with the council's preparation of a revised Coastal Zone Management Plan, to be prepared by the end of 2013.

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