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Long-term erosion solution options for Wamberal Beach

By Central Coast Council
Posted: 31 Jul 2021
Wamberal Beach, July 2020. Image Credit Craig Young
Central Coast community members can now view Stages 1-4 of technical studies developed to inform decision-making around a long-term solution to manage coastal erosion at Wamberal Beach.

The technical studies outline five seawall concept designs - ranging from revetment to vertical and promenade style structures - with concept design renders, cross-section drawings and footprint mapping developed for each option to assist with visualising the potential solutions.

Central Coast Council Acting Director Environment and Planning, Luke Sulkowski said the local community is passionate about Wamberal Beach and Phase 2 consultation is an opportunity to provide initial feedback on the available options.

"The current release of technical studies meets a key objective of Council's certified Gosford Beaches Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) which includes an action to investigate long-term solutions for Wamberal Beach and seek community input into a preferred protection solution," Mr Sulkowski said.

"It is important to note that Council's role through the CZMP is to outline a preferred protection solution but the delivery of any solution is a separate and currently unfunded process.

"The Stage 5 and 6 studies, which are still under review, will include an updated Cost Benefit Analysis and will be available to the community around the end of August.

"Final Seawall alignment, access points and terminal ends would need to be determined during the detailed design phase of the project."

Council Administrator, Rik Hart said delivery of a long-term erosion solution at Wamberal Beach is currently not funded and proceeding with any solution would require a funding commitment from the NSW or Federal Government.

"There are many technical, financial, social and environmental complexities that need to be worked through to develop a long-term solution to erosion at Wamberal Beach," Mr Hart said.

"Technical studies and concept design renders are an important step forward in the exploration of a long-term solution but it needs to be clearly understood that delivery of any solution at Wamberal Beach is not yet funded.

"We also need to consider that on top of the initial cost to develop a new asset of this scale there are significant ongoing maintenance and other costs.

"For the best coastal erosion management solutions to be developed and delivered it is vital that all levels of government, residents and the broader community work together.

"Following the release of all technical studies and a thorough community consultation process we will have a full understanding of the funding commitment that would need to be forthcoming from the NSW and/or Federal Government in order to deliver a long-term erosion solution at Wamberal Beach."

The technical studies now available to the community represent a $498,996 investment and were 50/50 funded by Council and the NSW Government through the NSW Coastal and Estuaries Grants Program, inclusive of an additional $36,380 from the NSW Government for the renders and additional engagement

As well as being a key objective of Council's CZMP, the technical studies are an important milestone for the Wamberal Seawall Advisory Taskforce which was established by the NSW Government in July 2020 to provide Council with support to develop a sustainable long-term solution to coastal erosion issues at Wamberal Beach.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch is a member of the Taskforce and said the Taskforce's role is to break down bureaucratic barriers and provide technical expertise to Council.

"The Taskforce is chaired by coastal expert Dr Phil Watson and so far has provided advice to Council on a range of Crown Lands, resource supply, legal and engineering issues," Mr Crouch said.

"We must protect the beach itself as well as the hundreds of millions of dollars of public and private assets behind it.

"I want to ensure that the best possible long-term solution is developed as a product of community input, and that is why the NSW Government has provided an additional $36,380 to cover the cost of this community consultation."

Community members can provide feedback on the technical studies (Stages 1-4) during a consultation period that runs from Thursday 29 July 2021 to Friday 10 September 2021 by visiting here

 
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