Federal co-funding welcomed for Stockton Beach

19 Oct 2022

City of Newcastle has announced $1.5 million co-funding in partnership with $4.7 million Federal Government funding for the planning, design and approvals to secure sand for amenity nourishment at Stockton Beach.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes thanked Federal Member for Newcastle, Sharon Claydon MP, at Stockton Beach this morning and reiterated the importance of this collaborative funding and the work it enables for the Stockton community.

"City of Newcastle has been working hard on the ground in Stockton to protect the beach and secure funding for mass sand nourishment,” Cr Nelmes said.

“This $1.5 million co-contribution is part of our $27.5 million commitment we made in 2020, with $4.6 million already invested into the Coastal Management Program.”

The federal grant includes a 25 per cent co-contribution from City of Newcastle and the immediate priority is to source 300,000 cubic metres of sand from the entrance to the harbour to provide short-term relief to the current shoreline recession pending mass sand nourishment.

City of Newcastle Executive Manager Planning and Environment Michelle Bisson said mass sand nourishment remained the long-term solution to protecting Stockton Beach pending support from the NSW Government.

"The long-term solution is to secure the 2.4 million cubic metres of sand needed an initial mass nourishment, and annual sand top ups in line with community wishes and the plan endorsed by the NSW Government in 2020,” Ms Bisson said.

The grant will fund these investigations and approvals – looking at sand sources from the north arm of the Hunter River, as well as three suitable bodies of sand in the Stockton Bight which were identified in the NSW Government's 2021 Stockton Offshore Sand Exploration Project.

"Securing multiple sand sources builds flexibility into the mass-nourishment strategy to ensure the longevity of sand supply to Stockton Beach, building necessary resilience and future-proofing the project," Ms Bisson said.

City of Newcastle's Stockton Coastal Management Program was one of the first of any Councils in the State to be certified, under the Coastal Management Act 2016, by the NSW Minister for Local Government in August 2020.

City of Newcastle invested $4.6 million on coastal protection measures over the 10 years prior to the Stockton CMP being certified in August 2020.

The cost to implement coastal management actions including the initial amenity sand nourishment, outlined in the Stockton Coastal Management Program 2020, to provide a buffer for the coastline and beach amenity at Stockton will be $27.5 million, with $4.6 million of this already spent on coastline protection and emergency repair works.

City of Newcastle has completed an engineering design process to determine the best locations to place sand to achieve the objective of providing a buffer against storm erosion risks and projected sea level rise impacts while restoring the recreational beach amenity for the Stockton community and broader Hunter region.