Heavy earthmoving equipment reinforces the shoreline at Belongil after a court order was given that allowed residents to protect their homes against a predicted storm surge caused by Cyclone Ului.
Heavy earthmoving equipment reinforces the shoreline at Belongil after a court order was given that allowed residents to protect their homes against a predicted storm surge caused by Cyclone Ului. Matt Meir

Belongil residents prepare

LANDOWNERS at Belongil Beach were involved in a race against time yesterday after gaining an emergency court order to protect their homes from predicted storm surges.

Work was carried out on public land after an urgent hearing in the Land and Environment Court on Thursday.

Earthmovers and trucks turned the normally picturesque end of Don Street at Belongil Beach into a construction site as sand was dumped into place behind already existing geobags.

Patrick George, who owns property at Belongil, said landowners paid for yesterday’s work to make sure it would be done, in the expectation Council would reimburse the cost.

“This is council’s responsibility, (but) we’re doing the works out of own pockets initially,” he said.

Mr George said the court order was as much about protecting public infrastructure from storm damage as it was private properties.

“This involves the whole of the community really,” he said.

Council’s general manager Graeme Faulkner said despite a lack of funds to pay for the work, council did not object to the landowners doing it themselves.

He said where practical, council staff would monitor the Byron Shire this weekend in the event of a severe weather event.

The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting dangerous surf conditions this weekend, with swell between 2.5 and 3.5 metres.

Yesterday’s protection work was carried out as Byron residents wait for council’s draft coastal zone management plan – the policy which, among other things, will regulate the protection allowed for homes under threat from erosion – to go back before councillors next month.



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