Next step in coastal plan for north Stockton

24 Feb 2021

The management of Stockton’s coastal areas remains a priority when City of Newcastle facilitates meetings with members of the Stockton Community Liaison Group (SCLG) and the relevant northern landholders Hunter Water Corporation, Defence Housing, Family and Community Services, and Crown Lands today.

The Stockton Coastal Management Program (CMP) 2020 was certified by the NSW Government last August. The CMP 2020 took into account City managed land from the Northern Harbour Breakwall to Meredith Street, providing a long-term strategy with the focus on provision of mass sand nourishment.

SCLG Chair Barbara Whitcher said it was important for all stakeholders to work together to protect Stockton’s coastline.

“The SCLG, facilitated by council, are now working with other landowners and stakeholders through a rigorous process to ensure the northern section of Stockton has a viable and acceptable long-term plan to manage coastal hazards,” Ms Whitcher said.

“We believe it’s important to work with all stakeholders to achieve a solution that protects Stockton Bight from predicted coastal hazards.”

The Coastal Management Act 2016 requires all relevant northern landholders to agree to the preferred management options for this expanded area.

“The collaboration between City of Newcastle staff, the Stockton Community Liaison Group, agency stakeholders and the NSW Government was essential during the preparation of the original CMP,” Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“Any proposed management options for the Stockton CMP 2021 should complement the current goal of mass sand nourishment and be assessed in terms of their economic and technical feasibility.”

The adopted strategy of mass sand nourishment in the Stockton CMP 2020 will be incorporated into the Stockton CMP 2021.

Consideration of all protentional management options is a crucial component of feasibility assessment stage of the CMP development process as mandated by the Coastal Management Act 2016. Consultants Bluecoast have applied a methodology to refine the long list to a short-list of feasible management schemes for further consideration and assessment.

These options for this expanded area must be committed to by the relevant northern landholders who are Hunter Water Corporation, Defence Housing, Family and Community Services, and Crown Lands.

City of Newcastle has already begun implementing the 2020 CMP, including kyowa rock bags as a temporary protection structure at the Barrie Crescent section of Stockton Beach. Other maintenance and protection works are ongoing to help maintain access to the beach and manage severe weather events.

Earlier this month, Deputy Premier John Barilaro announced the NSW Government had approved an exploration licence to identify suitable offshore sand for renourishment. The work off the coast of Newcastle is set to occur in the coming weeks as part of a long-term plan to permit offshore dredging to secure sand for Stockton Beach.