27 October 2022

Feedback sought on how to protect Eurobodalla's stunning coastline

| Albert McKnight
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Rosedale Beach

The Eurobodalla Shire has more than 140 km of coastline, such as Rosedale Beach. Photo: Kim Treasure.

The beautiful coastline along the Eurobodalla is filled with beaches that can only be described as shining gems, beloved by locals and visitors who are drawn to them.

Now, Eurobodalla Shire Council is seeking feedback on how to protect and manage the region’s beaches, headlands and shorelines.

The shire has more than 140 kilometres of coastline, stretching from South Durras Beach in the north to Wallaga Lake in the south, and the council manages about 60 per cent of it.

The draft Open Coast Coastal Management Program is now open for public comment and outlines a 10-year strategy to protect the ecological, social and economic value of the coastline, as well as manage coastal hazards and the potential impacts of climate change.

“Storms and sea-level rise, public access to sensitive habitats, and multi-agency responsibilities are just some of the challenges to managing our coast into the future,” the council’s coastal planner Cameron Whiting said.

“This draft program has been developed from feedback we have been collecting since early 2021.

“It looks to balance environmental interests with our community’s aspirations for access and protections of our beaches – all the while maintaining the natural quality of our coast.”

READ ALSO Eurobodalla trials virtual fences to prevent animal deaths on roads

The council says the draft program includes a business plan outlining actions to protect at-risk areas from coastal erosion or inundation. An emergency action plan outlines how the council, emergency services and state agencies will protect the coastline before, during and following coastal storm events.

Mr Whiting said the draft program also included proposed priority actions such as a revetment to protect Long Beach’s Bay Road, and inundation berm to protect Surfside, and rock-wall upgrades at Wharf Road and Caseys Beach to address current and future coastal hazards at these sites.

The draft program is open for comment until 9 November. For more information and to give feedback, visit the council’s website.

The council will also hold drop-in sessions where community members can meet staff and specialist consultants to discuss the draft program. Session details are:

  • Bay Pavilions, 3 November, 10 am to 1 pm
  • Narooma Golf Club, 4 November, 10 am to 1 pm
  • Basil Sellers Exhibition Centre, Moruya, 5 November, 10 am to 1 pm.

To register for a drop-in session, contact Mr Whiting on 4474 1000 or email [email protected]. The CMP was prepared with financial and technical support from the NSW Government.

Meanwhile, last week the council said it was investigating the disappointing water-quality readings at Surf Beach.

The State of the Beaches 2021-22 water-quality report, which covered 214 swimming locations across the state, graded Surf Beach and Caseys Beach as “poor” due to elevated bacterial levels during both dry and wet weather.

But the council said this rating did not mean bacteria numbers were constantly high.

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“For example, last season Caseys Beach exceeded the trigger value – 40 colony-forming units per 100 ml – four times from 27 samples,” the council said.

“It was safe to swim at Caseys Beach and Surf Beach most of the time and when poor results were returned, public warning signs were put out.”

Following the report, the council began a more comprehensive sampling program for the Caseys Beach catchment, and sources of pollution are being investigated.

The council says swimming should be avoided at any location for three days after periods of heavy rain or if the water appears to be discoloured or murky.

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