City Of Newcastle can now apply for funding to address coastal erosion along Stockton Beach following the State Government’s green lighting of Council’s management plan for the area.
The Newcastle Coastal Zone Management Plan 2018 (NCZMP) provides a management framework for the coastline and includes actions to address coastal hazards, including erosion and recreational and environmental issues along the Newcastle coastline.
While the NCZMP provides a framework for the Newcastle coastline, the actions in relation to Stockton Beach, particularly beach erosion, are limited to short to medium-term timeframes, due to the time constraints imposed on Council by a new coastal management act that came into effect in April this year.
"The Office of Environment and Heritage's (OEH) approval of the Coastal Zone Management Plan is a significant step forward in Council securing funding from the NSW Government to address coastal erosion at Stockton," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
"All credit must go to Council staff and the Stockton community, who, through the Stockton Community Liaison Group, have in this plan identified sand replenishment as a preferred option for management of coastal hazards and restoring a beach wide enough for people to enjoy and to prevent further threats to property.
"Council will continue to work with OEH, the community and researchers to find the best long-term technical and cost-effective solution for Stockton Beach."
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot McDonald said the successful collaboration between Council, OEH and the local community boded well for a long-term solution.
"This is a positive step in what has been a decades-long issue for Stockton," Mr McDonald said.
"It's worth noting the plan was a result of a well-planned collaborative process between City Of Newcastle and the Office of Environment and Heritage, who genuinely engaged with the Stockton community. There is more work to be done on identifying a long-term solution to coastal erosion at Stockton but it's extremely positive to see all parties working together."
Barbara Whitcher from the Stockton Community Liaison Group also welcomed the news.
"Now we keenly anticipate prompt action to further progress a solution to the serious erosion of Stockton Beach," Whitcher said.
Other key management actions in the certified NCZMP include:
- Establishment of a working party and additional studies to investigate sand replenishment as a management option for Stockton Beach.
- Demolition of the former North Stockton Surf Life Saving Club upon expiry of the early learning centre’s lease.
- Coastal protection works at the former landfill at 310 Fullerton St by Hunter Water
- Design and repair of the northern end of the Mitchell Street seawall
- Maintenance and repair of the Mitchell Street seawall
- Continued placement of appropriate dredged sand from the Hunter River off Stockton Beach by the Port of Newcastle
- Continued maintenance of dune systems and beach scraping activities