What are the potential negative impacts of a trial groyne?

    Interference in natural processes is to be approached with caution and it is for this reason that the proposal for a geotextile groyne is regarded as a trial.

    Over the years, Currarong Beach has been investigated by three leading coastal engineers and the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage and they have consistently identified a groyne as the appropriate and preferred option for erosion remediation at Currarong Beach. This is why there was no new information presented at the public meeting. The information available in previous studies and reports is still considered to be current and applicable.

    Beach monitoring surveys at Currarong were established in 2010 and will be maintained in order to monitor the measurable impacts of the groyne and beach nourishment. We will also be very interested in receiving informal monitoring observations from the community. As the consultant pointed out in his presentation, if it becomes clear that the intended outcomes are not being achieved or that negative impacts outweigh the positives, then the groyne can be removed.

    A rock wall, suggested during this submission process, has been rejected as an option. Hard engineering along the back of a beach results in the loss of sand unless it’s undertaken in combination with on-going beach nourishment. It’s also subject to ‘end effects’ whereby erosion occurs at each end of the wall unless the wall is ‘tied into’ natural rock at each end.

    Some comments received have expressed concern that the groyne will be unsightly and interfere with beach amenity. The landward end of the groyne will be constructed to allow for ease of pedestrian access, together with a drive-over crest for beach fishermen.

    Why is Council willing to spending money to protect just 10 properties?

    The proposed groyne is not exclusively for the benefit of the 10 at risk properties. The work is also intended to protect the foreshore reserve, the road, beach access, and beach amenity.

    Doing nothing is no longer seen as an option, as we know that Currarong is an eroding beach and will continue to lose sand into the future and more properties will be exposed to risk.

    A concern expressed is that these property owners are being unjustly and inappropriately protected after compromising dune resilience. Vegetation vandalism does impact on dune resilience, however, the risks at Currarong Beach are driven by coastal processes.

    Council is willing to prosecute the perpetrators for such actions but we need clear evidence of their identity. Council would be grateful for any assistance that can be provided in this regard.

    Why has it taken so much time to act on the erosion caused by the June 2016 storm?

    Given all the legalities that Council is required to address, and the extent of damages across the entire Shoalhaven area, it is actually quite an achievement to have the short term works all implemented before Christmas - as intended.

     Staff were required to;

    ·  Secure funds from Council

    ·  Prepare an extensive REF

    ·  Engage a Aboriginal Cultural Heritage consultant

    ·  Secure approval from NSW DPI and Crown Land

    ·  Liaise with OEH staff regarding the significant Aboriginal Cultural Heritage i.e. the middens, and adjust the works plan to take account of the advice received

    ·  Prepare a scope of works and select a contractor according to Council’s procurement policy

    ·  Organise a public meeting with the expert coastal consultant

    ·  Finalise design and order the two Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) staircases

    ·  Arrange for the installation of the staircases.

    What is the detailed design?

    The brief for the detailed design will require inclusion of the following;

    ·  Monitoring and maintenance program of the trial groyne and beach nourishment

    ·  Provisions for decommissioning the groyne should impacts be unacceptable (risk analysis)

    ·  AHIP process for the short and long term works (Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit – see below)

    ·  Community engagement plan

    ·  Revegetation plan

    ·  Assess the influence on sand movement of the constructed sand spit

    The detailed design will be made available for community comments before the tendering process for construction is implemented.

    Will erosion at Beecroft Parade be addressed?

    Concern was also expressed that the public meeting and the hand out didn’t address the erosion at Beecroft Parade. Council is monitoring and managing risks in this location and is awaiting expert advice on how to best manage this area in the longer term.

    Is Council considering Aboriginal Cultural Heritage?

    The long term coastal erosion works will require the Office of Environment and Heritage to issue an AHIP. This process is lengthy as it requires a high level of investigation and consultation as required by the legislation.

    Council has already asked an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage consultant to progress the AHIP application for long term works.

    How can I find out about beach access?

    You can view a map explaining the proposal for which access ways will, or may, be reinstated and which will not. The two that will be reinstated using a longer lasting composite material, Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP), will be installed in early December, weather permitting.