Sand bypassing options available

FOUR options for enhancing the Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project are being considered.

Option one is most likely to improve Kirra Point surf conditions, but is also the least likely to be adopted and involves two additional pump outlets 1200m and 2400m north of an existing Kirra Point outlet.

Option two proposes extra and further offshore dredge placements of sand at Tugun, Bilinga and Snapper Rocks.

Option three suggests a one-off deposit at Kingscliff's heavily eroded beach of 200,000sqm at the Tweed River entrance.

Option four proposes "back passing" Tweed River entrance sand south of the Letitia Spit pumping jetty after which it will join the natural northward drift of sand the jetty mimics.

At a Tweed Civic Centre public meeting on Wednesday night a spokesperson for GHD Australia, which conducted the options feasibility study, said option one was easily the most expensive at a cost of $6 million.

"The North Kirra outlet is unfavourable," he said.

The options feasibility report states the North Kirra outlet would also "have a direct detrimental impact on the local beach amenity where the sand delivery outlet infrastructure is located".

"The use of a North Kirra outlet on a routine basis could also seriously starve the southern-most Gold Coast beaches of their requirements for restored sand supply.

"Consequently, routine use of this option would not provide a long-term enhancement to the system operations in terms of achieving project objectives that seek to restore and continue a natural sand supply to all the southern Gold Coast beaches."

Some locals questioned how any of the options could restore Kirra Point's once-famous surf break but the representative said he could not say.

"Surf breaks are dependent on where the sand goes and it's very difficult to pin point exactly what's going to happen."

According to the report surf quality at Kirra could improve through use of the North Kirra outlet.

"However, this would be subject to careful planning and placement of sand, as sand pumping to this location may also cause a local realignment of the beach south-east to Kirra, to the detriment of Kirra surfing and Kirra Reef in the future," it added.

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