Work is continuing on the removal of 100,000 cubic metres of sand to restore the once famous Kirra Point.
Work is continuing on the removal of 100,000 cubic metres of sand to restore the once famous Kirra Point. Tweed Daily News

Review for sand bypass

SAND may be pumped to replenish eroded Tweed beaches as well as Coolangatta Bay as a result of yet another review by the NSW and Queensland governments of the sand bypass project .

A new feasibility study of the Tweed Sand Bypass Project will be completed “as soon as possible” after NSW Lands Minister Tony Kelly met with the Queensland Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Kate Jones, last Friday.

The meeting, which followed a community briefing last Thursday night, gave the ministers a chance to see first-hand the build-up of sand at Kirra Beach, which locals blame for destroying its fam- ous barrelling waves.

They also inspected the progress of works by the Gold Coast City Council to shift 20,000 of an expected 100,000 cubic metres of sand from the beach as part of a $1.5 million election promise by the Queensland Government to bring back the Kirra “keg”.

A rethink of the way the bypass project is operated could see the sand-relocation system, that pumps sand from the mouth of the Tweed River and dumps it near Snapper Rocks, used as part of the border area's defences against climate change, Mr Kelly said.

“Both governments are committed to finding a long-term solution that is responsive to damaging and sudden shifts in weather. The bypass system may provide a buffer to the impacts of changing weather patterns associated with future climate change.”

The feasibility study, which will be jointly funded by both governments, will look at possible new outlets for the sand; alternative sites for dredge disposal and the possibility of expanding the project to pump sand to beaches on the Tweed when needed.

Community consultation will “be foremost to finding any solution”, according to a spokesperson for Mr Kelly, but members of Kirra Point Inc, the group who have been fighting to bring back the Kirra keg, say they are angry members of the community were not given a chance to meet with the ministers when they toured Kirra Beach and the sand-pumping jetty at Fingal Head on July 31.

“It's the fist that we have heard of a meeting between the ministers, which is really disappointing because we have been pushing for them to work together on this problem for some time,” said Wayne Deane, chairman of Kirra Point Inc.

“We had been told we could attend the meeting and speak with both ministers, so it's disappointing that we were not invited, especially because you would think they would welcome any local knowledge.

“Another feasibility study is necessary, because that is the way to get things done; but we want to see what they will investigate, because it's all well and good to study the flow of sand, but we need to come up with some solutions.”



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