Recovery from weekend weather underway

08 Apr 2022

City of Newcastle (CN) is in the process of inspecting and assessing all CN assets within its 14- kilometre coastal zone, following the weekend’s large and powerful surf conditions. 

Temporary fencing at the South Newcastle Beach upgrade project was impacted by the weather conditions and it is in the process of being reinstated by the contractors for the works. Any costs associated with this work is at the contractor’s expense. Construction at the site resumed earlier this week on Wednesday. 

Construction of stage one of the Newcastle Ocean Baths project has also now resumed. 

In Stockton, wave overtopping reached Corroba Oval, Barrie Crescent Reserve and the Stockton Holiday Park. During the weekend’s event, inspections and make safe work was undertaken where necessary. No occupants of the holiday park were required to be relocated. 

All accessways at Stockton Beach were closed over the weekend but following repair works, the accessways at Meredith Street, Beeston Street and Lexie's Café are now open. All other accessways remain closed. 

Additional temporary barriers have been installed along the northern breakwater due to extent of the erosion and existing emergency works located at the Surf Life Saving Club Seawall and the Mitchell Street Seawall have been inspected and repaired. Natural debris along the temporary protection structure at Barrie Crescent has been inspected and cleared. 

The beach at Dalby Oval remains closed. 

City of Newcastle has to date invested more than $10 million combatting beach erosion at Stockton. The community’s preferred option is mass sand nourishment, and as a result is one of the key actions in the Stockton Coastal Management Program, which was approved by the NSW Government in 2020.

To restore Stockton beach, up to 4.5 million cubic metres of sand would be needed, followed by maintenance campaigns every decade. Securing this volume of sand is only possible via offshore sand mining, something that has never previously been permitted. The cost of this solution is at least $21 million and so City of Newcastle is working with the NSW Government on the necessary approvals to permit offshore sand mining and then to fund the initial $21 million cost of the work.

City of Newcastle is also in the process of developing its Southern Beaches Coastal Management Program which sets out a long-term strategy for managing future coastal hazards, such as inundation. While there is further adverse weather forecast for this weekend likely to impact Newcastle and Lake Macquarie beaches, it's likely that sand will return to Merewether and Bar Beach relatively quickly. Locals would recall in August last year a southerly swell and huge tide stripped away the sand, exposing the man-made rock wall as the beach's last line of defence. The sand had largely returned prior to the freak weather event of last weekend.

City of Newcastle reminds the community to follow safety warnings and adhere to any signage while the remediation work is completed.