Another step closer to sand for Stockton Beach

01 Aug 2023

City of Newcastle has made progress on a range of work underway to address coastal erosion at Stockton, as discussed at a meeting earlier today with the Stockton Community Liaison Group.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes reiterated the importance of continued collaboration and consultation between the City, the NSW Government and the Stockton community.

"Significant work has been undertaken by City of Newcastle staff since Minister Moriarty's visit in June when she confirmed the NSW Government’s role in funding and delivering amenity and mass sand nourishment at Stockton Beach," Cr Nelmes said.

"This includes all the front-end work required to support approvals for placement of sand at Stockton Beach."

In October 2022, the NSW Government was successful in obtaining a $6.2 million grant through the Coastal and Estuarine Risk Mitigation Program, which includes $4.7 million from the Federal Government and $1.5 million from City of Newcastle.

The grant funds the delivery of more than 100,000 cubic metres of sand onto Stockton Beach and studies into possible sources of much larger volumes of sand from the North Arm of the Hunter River and offshore sources. The grant will also fund the environmental approvals required for mass sand nourishment – a complex process, which has never before been undertaken in NSW.

At a meeting of the Stockton Beach Taskforce in June new Taskforce Chair Minister for Regional NSW Tara Moriarty announced that as part of rolling out the NSW Government’s $21 million commitment for mass sand nourishment, Department of Regional NSW and NSW Public Works would coordinate and deliver the works funded by the Federal grant.

City of Newcastle's Executive Director Planning and Environment, Michelle Bisson, said City of Newcastle's work enables the NSW Government to move ahead with the required approvals for placement of sand at Stockton Beach.

"Now that the front-end work is complete, including the environmental assessment for sand placement, development of a detailed monitoring program, and liaison on a Crown Land licence, the NSW Government is in a much better position to deliver on their Stockton Beach nourishment commitments," Ms Bisson said.

"To ensure there is efficient and seamless delivery of the entire sand nourishment program, the NSW Government is best placed to own the process of sourcing and placing sand on Stockton Beach, and it is appropriate that they own all of the associated approvals."

Cr Nelmes reiterated appreciation for the Minister's commitment to get sand back on the beach.

"I again thank Minister Moriarty for her previous commitment that the Department of Regional NSW and NSW Public Works will coordinate and deliver the works to finally get sufficient volumes of sand back onto Stockton Beach," Cr Nelmes said.

"It's only right that the NSW Government take on this critical role given it is their infrastructure, namely the breakwater and deepwater navigation channel of the Port of Newcastle, that has been proven as the primary cause of ongoing erosion at Stockton Beach."

Chair of the Stockton Community Liaison Group Barbara Whitcher said that in this latest update she was pleased to see progress in a number of areas and that she looks forward to further progress in getting sand on the beach.