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Collapse Issue 436 - 15 Jan 2018Issue 436 - 15 Jan 2018
Collapse  RAIL CHAOS RAIL CHAOS
Factors combined for rail chaos
Commuters describe four-hour journeys
'Train' trip took three hours from Central
MacDonald apologises for train disruptions
Trackwork to be completed this week
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Molly celebrates 105th birthday
Australia Day activities on Woy Woy waterfront
Visit by NSW Maritime fails to result in fines
Ocean Beach area is dangerous, says Mehrtens
Tesch calls for Woy Woy wharf upgrade
Councillor questions need for study before action
Plans for sand study supported by community group
Rawson Rd was only crossing with two fatalities
Six tonnes of sand to be sculpted
Accident proves need for train guards - Tesch
Encourage development in Woy Woy, says Chamber
MP supports Umina youth festival
New electronic waste contractor engaged at the tip
Permanent dredging solution is supported - Tesch
Chamber opposes lower submission threshold
Rotary club pays for three Ugandan classrooms
Mary Mac's receives Rotary donations
Little 'trickle down' despite tourism success - Chamber
Council to appoint interim general manager
Surf club holds first seaside market
Collapse  FORUM FORUM
A ray of hope on the horizon
Sand creates hazard on footpaths
Any system is better than this unwieldy, exclusive one
Council could never be accused of acting in haste
Bank inquiry is good news
Open letter sent to Central Coast Council
Collapse  HEALTH HEALTH
Program to reduce risk of falling
Lymphoedema common on the Peninsula
Project success for retirement village and graduate
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Arts and crafts centre announces upgrades
Little Theatre performs satirical comedy Australia Day
Canadian duo first up at folk club
Blues Angels at Hardy's Bay

Ocean Beach area is dangerous, says Mehrtens

A Central Coast councillor has described the sandbagged area of Ocean Beach as being in a poor and dangerous state.

Council staff have confirmed that they believe people are systematically removing safety signs and fencing in the area.

The issue "must be a high priority" for Central Coast Council and any candidate considering standing in the NSW or Federal election in the next one to two years, according to Cr Richard Mehrtens.

"From my early days, even before I started campaigning for Council, the state of Umina and Ocean Beach has been a huge point of contention," Cr Mehrtens said.

"People are telling me all the time that they have fallen or a family member or they have witnessed someone fall down the eroded cliff face," he said.

Cr Mehrtens said he believed it was only a matter of time before someone was injured or the steep dune face collapsed causing injury.

"That would be a very poor reflection on Central Coast Council so if there is money there it should be spent."

Umina Community Group spokesperson Mr Tony Winch said that, since 2015, erosion has led to the formation of a steep and unstable cliff face in the location of the former walking paths that were maintained by Central Coast Council.

He said the former pathways had been fenced off with wire and plastic netting, and temporary signage.

However, that did not deter locals and visitors from climbing over the fencing and climbing down and up the cliff face during the Christmas-New Year break.

"We would like to discourage that from happening," he said.

Central Coast Council has confirmed that people are ignoring and removing signs and fencing to gain access to the beach.

"The fencing is supposed to restrict public access to the beach via what used to be maintained walking paths," said Council director Mr Mike Dowling.

"As fast as the fencing is fixed, it is cut away by people accessing the area.

"Council has repaired the fencing more than a dozen times and is now using stronger wire in an effort to reduce further vandalism.

"The fencing is lower due to the fact that people are climbing over trampling any safety measures that are in place.

"On-site signage is continually removed despite the obvious danger of accessing the beach in these locations.

"There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that a number people are involved in such activities each day.

"Access points and paths can't be restored until the beach profile returns.

"Council is currently reviewing additional emergency options to prevent further erosion of the escarpment.

"Council is also underway with designs for the installation of new staircases in the area, which will need to be able to withstand further tidal inundation and potential future erosion.

"Council has already expended funds on beach scraping to move sand further up the beach to assist in preventing further erosion.

"Council is currently working with State Government on funding associated with a long term solution.

"Budgets for the 2018/19 financial year are yet to be determined by Council," Mr Dowling said.

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