The Bugle App
The Bugle App
Your local news hub
Get it on the Apple StoreGet it on the Google Play Store
The Bugle App

Gerroa Environmental Protection Society on the Gerringong Surf Club

The Bugle App

Local Contributor

24 March 2024, 10:35 PM

Gerroa Environmental Protection Society on the Gerringong Surf Club

Here we go again, big financial decisions being made without Councillors being fully informed of the issues and risks. The proposed Gerringong Surf Clubhouse is located in the area rated by Kiama’s own Coastal Management Program (CMP) as having “extreme risk” of coastal Inundation and “high risk” of beach erosion.

Some older residents may remember when South Pacific Avenue in front of the clubhouse was badly damaged by coastal inundation and erosion in 1974 (picture attached). Sea levels are at least 100mm higher now and the CMP advises they are rising at more than 3mm a year.

The DA for the Surf Club was approved before this Coastal Management Plan was finalised and unfortunately its findings weren’t considered by Council in the DA assessment.

While the Coastal Management Plan indicates that sea level impacts on the clubhouse itself may be more than 50 years off, Council assets like the southern end Pacific Avenue will most probably need protection before then.

The CMP proposes that Council develop a medium-term plan and obtain permits for coastal protection works at South Werri including, but not limited to seawalls, revetments and groynes.

While the permits for these works would sit on the shelf until needed, the inevitability of such engineering works raises important questions for the community and surf club members, because they would ultimately impact on the surf break and will almost certainly destroy the beach itself. The clubhouse could become stranded without its beach.

A softer environmental response would be to enable natural beach retreat, which is possible in this location so long as we don’t place infrastructure there. This would require relocation of the road but would save the beach.

Kiama’s new Coastal Management Program was developed to inform decision making.

No matter what your thoughts on the matter are, we need to have an informed discussion NOW before hundreds of thousands of ratepayer’s dollars are unwisely spent and options for natural beach retreat closed off.

Howard H Jones secretary Gerroa Environmental Protection Society