Belongil Beach: Between a rock and a hard place
LET'S talk about the hot topic of Belongil Beach for a moment.
I'm no fan of rock walls.
But what really concerns me much more is the proposal further down the track to pump sand from Tallows over to Clarks once the rock wall is in place.
This is being sold to the public under the heading of "sand replenishment".
Now what exactly does that mean?
Well, it means that the sand is removed from where nature has put it, and pumped somewhere else, where nature is constantly removing it.
Anyone see a problem yet?
A similar system was built at the Tweed river mouth, pumping sand around Point Danger tothe north.
Many surfers on the Gold Coast have been lobbying for years to have the system turned off due to the damage it's done to local breaks, but so far to no avail.
Shortly after the Tweed system was turned on, beaches to the south began to experience severe erosion. The southern end of Kingscliff Beach is a prime example.
It's also worth noting that it appears to coincide with the ongoing erosion problems at South Golden Beach and Belongil.
My concern is that if they take sand for replenishment from Tallow Beach and release it at Clarks as proposed, what happens to the residents at Suffolk Park when we have another big storm?
It would also make the northern end of Tallows more vulnerable to damage.
Plus it means that the diverted sand could bypass the cape, and therefore starve The Pass, Wategos and Cosy Corner, possibly ruining the breaks there.
Finally, if sand levels are increased via replenishment at Clarks and therefore by default on to Main Beach, The Wreck and Belongil, there would also be the risk of creating a wider bank along that stretch, which has a steeper sheer into deep water.
This could increase the ever present north-west current that runs down through the bay.
That could possibly create a dangerous situation for swimmers.
All this adds up to very bad news for the coastal residents at the far southern and northern ends of the shire if these proposals go ahead.