Fallen trees mark the changing coastline of Kingscliff Beach.
Fallen trees mark the changing coastline of Kingscliff Beach.

Council to fight erosion battle

THE eroded section of beach at the southern end of Kingscliff could soon be sandbagged to protect Faulks Park.

The merciless advance of the ocean caused an access road to the park to be closed at the weekend for the protection of the public.

The erosion began late November, but has gathered pace in the past few weeks, and on Saturday night the road was closed after metres of ground were eaten up in just days.

The dense tree line that once stood tall on the dunes at the beach, stretching north from the Cudgen Creek break wall is now all but gone, with just a few trees clinging on to cracked ground through their strained root systems, which will soon fail.

There has been growing anger in the community at the lack of action of authorities, but a Tweed Shire Council spokeswoman said yesterday it would only act now because public assets were threatened.

“Under council's Coastal Management guidelines, council will allow natural depletion or accretion of sand until it becomes a threat to a public asset – in this case, the park and its assets, such as the road. The dunal area acts as a buffer,” the spokeswoman said.

The trees on the dunes were natural assets, not public according to council, so it was not necessary to protect them under the guidelines.

Other options to replenish the beach are also being investigated.

“Council is still pursuing dredging of Cudgen Creek with the relevant state authorities to provide sand to replenish the beaches in the long term. Unfortunately, these approvals take time.”

For now, council is investigating the combination of sandbagging and battering of the erosion scarp to secure Faulks Park and the access road.

Kingscliff Coast Guard lost and later relocated its high-frequency antenna after it was washed away by the rising water.

It has since been installed on land closer to the tower, but with slightly less range.

Kingscliff flotilla commander John Purnell said the tower was safe, but “I feel if (the erosion) keeps going, yes there are going to be problems there”.

He believed council officers had been working hard on the problem, but said there should have been more consultation and quicker action from it and the State Government.

Mr Purnell noted the amount of money being spent at Jack Evans Boat Harbour and wanted to know why Kingscliff was missing out.

“I feel something should have been done years ago,” he said.

“Why waste $8 million on Jack Evans Boat Harbour when the Kingscliff Beach Beautification Program has been on the drawing board for years and hasn't even been started. Meanwhile there have only been band-aid jobs done to fix the problems.”

A Land And Property Management Authority spokesman said it understood TSC was undertaking early erosion repairs to the southern end of Kingscliff Beach, but no formal approach had been made for necessary approvals. Though an approach was expected in the “very near future”.

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