News

Council bows to pressure over dune vegetation

The dunes at Woonona beach during a storm.

The dunes at Woonona beach during a storm.

DUNE vegetation will be removed from Woonona beach after growing complaints over the loss of open beach areas.

A number of projects are identified in Wollongong City Council’s draft Dune Management Strategy and endorsed an Implementation Plan.

The report comes after a vocal campaign from residents complaining over dunal vegetation and the loss of amenity and beach area.

At Woonona beach, Council has begun the process to allow for the removal of some of the vegetation that has extended seaward from where it was originally planted and is now impacting on the recreational amenity for beach users.

A dune care program and a broader community education program will also be established to provide an opportunity for Surf Life Saving Club members and the general community to work with Council to undertake weed control and maintain vegetation on the dunes.

The strategy will also allow Council to prepare site specific plans to manage vegetation on the patrolled areas of these beaches

Council said the Dune Management Strategy will help to increase public amenity, manage dune vegetation and stabilise dunes for the city’s 17 patrolled beaches.

The need for a Dune Management Strategy was identified during preparation of the draft Wollongong Coastal Zone Management Plan.

The main aim for the strategy was to identify management options for the high use recreational areas of the 17 patrolled beaches to address safety and recreational amenity issues, while considering biodiversity values and the role of the dunes in coastal processes.

Manager Environment and Strategic Planning Renee Campbell said Council with the aid of consultants has prepared a dune management strategy and implementation plan to work with the community on issues such as maintenance of sight lines for the patrolled swimming areas and management of the dune vegetation within these areas.

“The community values our coastal areas very highly and the strategy and implementation plan attempt to balance the need to allow the community to use our beaches safely while ensuring the infrastructure that sits behind the dune areas, such as buildings, cycleways and roads, are not placed at an increased risk from coastal hazards,” she said.

A number of projects are identified in the Implementation plan to be undertaken in 2013-14.

Council will also undertake an ongoing Beach and Dune Monitoring Program which aims to improve understanding of how the beaches and dunes change over time.

The program will include regular beach and dune profile surveys and photo point monitoring at the beaches considered to be at most risk from coastal processes and are of most concern to the community.

For more information call (02) 4227 7111 or visit Council’s website.

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limted), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications.

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