COUNCIL'S PLAN

In November, 2009

We submitted a Development Application to Greater Taree City Council for an "Emergency Action Plan" of seawall with engaged sand stabilisers. This was refused. Council has always stated to our group that the beach is not their responsibility, but the responsibility of Crown Land.

When we have contacted our elected State and Federal members we have been told they could not help us until Council came up with a plan as it is council's responsibility.

In July 2013 the State Coastal Panel denied a Development application to build a seawall to protect the homes of people who had lived there for over 30 years. Our local State member took the matter to the Minister who gave a grant of $89,500 to council with the instruction that they must draw up a plan within 3 months.

Engineers Royal Haskonings were commissioned to prepare a plan of protection and this was submitted to council on November 11, 2013, and can be viewed on council's website. The plan submitted was for a "Seawall" - even though a seawall design had been refused firstly by the council in 2009 and then by the Coastal Panel in 2013.

Up-date on that is that at full council meeting on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, it was resolved to include special Addendum (as prepared by Royal Haskoning) relating to Old Bar to the Coastal Zone Management Plan to be submitted to the Minister for Environment and Heritage. This Addendum stated that protection of Old Bar Beach is to be with a Revetment as set out in the Haskoning Study

Below is a very brief summary of that plan

WALL TO BE

• 2.8 kilometres long • from Surf Club to Midcoast Water ex-filtration ponds • 6 metres tall (i.e. 19.8' or nearly 20' high)
• Walk-way with hand-rail along the top
• In the Lewis Street section a 2 metre wall to be built on top to protect privacy of land owners and giving them private access to the walkway.

TO BE BUILT IN FOUR STAGES

• Lewis Street first
• Pacific Parade second
• School
• Surf-club

ROCK

• basalt
• 5 ton each
• Quarried from Johns River Quarry

SHIPMENT BY ROAD -

• 5 at a time
• On a low loader
• Travelling at 60 kph - I think the figure was 6,000 loads over our already fragile Old Bar Road.

COST

(very detailed costs have been prepared and can be viewed in the study on GTCC website)
• Lewis Street section - $9 million
• Entire wall - $59 million
OUTCOME OF THE SEAWALL

ADVANTAGES

• Total protection of the land and all properties

DISADVANTAGES

• End wall effect - Whilst "end wall effect" has been addressed by curving the end of the wall landward it seemed to me that the consultant, Gary Blumberg, was not completely confident that this would give positive protection.
• "Loss of beach" The consultant was very definite in stating that the outcome from the seawall will be total loss of beach within 10 years.
• Aesthetically unattractive - these walls are not pleasing again stated by the consultant.

REGARDING THE STUDY

The consultants have prepared the study in accordance with the instructions contained in the brief as follows...
This brief is concerned with Steps 2 to 5 of this process 2. Undertake a Coastline Hazard Definition Study to specifically identify and quantify hazards affecting the coast under study;
3. Conduct a Coastline Management Study to develop management objectives and consider all feasible management options whilst also assessing the social, economic, aesthetic, recreational and ecological issues associated with land uses of the area;
4. Prepare a Draft Coastal Zone Management Plan consisting of the best combination of options to achieve the plan objectives;
5. Review the Draft Coastal Zone Management Plan through public exhibition and consultation, including the preparation of a strategy to implement the Plan;

They presented honestly the advantages and disadvantages having on display photos that showed that aesthetically these walls are not pleasing.