Coastal zone management 'in chaos', says candidate
In less than one year the Central Coast Council has created complete chaos in the way the coastal zone is managed, according to Mr Pat Aiken who will be standing for election to the Council on September 9 as an STL (formerly Save Tuggerah Lakes) candidate.
"Coastal Management on the Central Coast is in disarray," Mr Aiken said.
"The recent debacle related to the imminent closure of the only entrance to Brisbane Water by a growing sand bar is another example of Council's failure to act in a timely manner and to fight for the residents of the Central Coast," Mr Aiken said.
"The issue of dredging has been raised several times in three studies since 1975.
"We have a current Coastal Zone Management Plan for Brisbane Water Estuary developed jointly by Gosford City Council and the NSW Government through the Office of Environment and Heritage.
"That plan like others before it calls for the removal of 50,000 cubic metres of sand from the estuary system between Lobster Beach and Half Tide Rocks.
"Central Coast Council asserts that it will cost between $2.5 million and $5 million to dredge the entrance to Brisbane Water while similar work on the Gold Coast is estimated to cost up to $15 per cubic metre.
"Council's costing for Brisbane Water seems quite prohibitive while our Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Mr Scott McDonald, asserts the temporary dredging solution for the entrance to Brisbane Water will cost $186,000.
"In 2012 Port Hacking was dredged to allow the Bundeena ferry to operate.
"The approximately 43,000 cubic metres of sand was removed and dumped just offshore from Cronulla Beach, all paid for by the NSW State Government.
"What is the game being played out between the NSW State Liberal Government and the Central Coast Council resulting in an open display of brinksmanship?
"Why are we being sold a temporary dredging solution when the State Government and our Council have collaborated in the past to produce expensive complex plans that are never actioned despite the critical need for a navigable entrance to Brisbane Water and navigable waterways that would facilitate an Opal-powered ferry service?
"We had ferry services in the past to Kincumber, Bensville and Saratoga but like the Warren shipbuilding yard at Kincumber they are gone.
"Why must a dredging project only focus on the entrance when we too should have the ferry services now provided by the State Government for the people of Sydney?
"The Central Coast Council, despite its own assertions, isn't building a new and resilient Central Coast Council that is fit for the future.
"It is barely holding the fort.
"The State Government will be handing over a basket case to Central Coast residents before it cuts and runs from a debacle of it its own making with assistance from an unelected council," Mr Aiken said.
"We have 50 per cent of the scheduled coastal erosion hotspots for the entire state," he said.
"We are also hugely impacted by projections of rising seas with up to 20,000 properties potentially affected by sea level rise but there is no adaptation plan and we have a lame duck council managed by a state government ignorant of the projected impact of climate change.
"The latest debacle is a decision to implement a sea level rise benchmark for the Northern Beaches of the Central Coast, (formerly Wyong Beaches), that is 75 per cent higher that the SLR benchmark used for our Southern Beaches (formerly Gosford Beaches) and coastal flood plains.
"The Sea Level Rise Benchmark for Gosford is 200mm of Sea Level Rise by 2050 but the new Wyong Benchmark is 340mm of sea level rise by 2050; two completely different benchmarks in the one Local Government Area.
"Which benchmark will prevail under a newly elected council after September 2017?"
Media release, 30 May 2017
Pat Aiken, STL Party