$1.1 million bill to repair City's southern beaches

15 Sept 2022

City of Newcastle is commencing works to reinstate safe access to beaches from Bar Beach to Merewether, following storm damage earlier this year.

The stretch of beach, and the Cooks Hill Surf Lifesaving Club, suffered significant damage from huge swells in April, leading to the temporary closure of facilities.

Since then, City of Newcastle has been working with structural and coastal engineers to assess the damage and develop options for the restoration of the pedestrian and vehicle accesses, buildings and promenade areas leading into the busy summer period.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the reinstatement of safe access for the community is a priority for the months ahead and will enable the Cooks Hill Surf Lifesaving Club to return to operation.

"We know how much the community values these beaches, and with summer not too far away, we are spending over a million dollars along this stretch of beach now so that locals and visitors can get back to the activities they love,” Cr Nelmes said.

"In addition to those more immediate actions, we are also looking ahead to the future to understand what these beaches may look like in decades to come."

Cooks Hill Surf Lifesaving Club President Michael Clancy said these works are an important step in returning to activities for the summer period.

"We are looking forward to seeing these works underway so that both our members and the broader community can safely get back to the beach this season," Mr Clancy said.

Initial works leading into summer have already commenced including the installation of temporary stairs at Bar Beach, which are now complete to allow lifeguards direct access from the viewing tower and promenade direct to the beach, as well as improving access to amenities and upgrades to access for lifesaving vehicles.

Following the busy summer period, further works are planned and include improvements to accessways at four points between Bar Beach and Merewether Beach.

The Bar Beach promenade area will also be upgraded including construction of a new disabled access ramp, new stairs, upgrades to seawalls and the installation of new handrails.

Looking ahead, City of Newcastle is working with coastal experts to develop a Coastal Management Program (CMP) for the stretch of beaches between Nobbys and Burwood Beach, which will consider the increasing exposure to coastal hazards and explore long-term management options for this highly valued stretch of coastline.

The CMP will ultimately be placed on public exhibition and then brought to the Council for support. It will then be forwarded to the NSW Minister for Local Government for certification.