New Brighton beach plan blasted

OWNERS of beachfront properties at New Brighton say they are being used as guinea pigs in Byron Shire Council’s plan to commence beach scraping near their homes.

The council is currently seeking cultural input into the feasibility of the trial project.

It would cost about $130,000 to do 1.8km of the beach.

Beach scraping involves theuse of machinery, including bull-dozers, to push sand from the low tide mark on to the dunes.

However, Peter Withey, president of the New Brighton Beachfront Action Group, said it was a waste of ratepayers’ money.

“There has been no study, anywhere, ever, that has shown beach scraping to be of any use,” he said.

“The erosion is cyclical.

“For about three months of the year erosion occurs.

“For six months the sand is replenished, and for the rest of the time it doesn’t really move at all.

“We have advocated beach drainage as an alternative.

“The council is using New Brighton as a guinea pig. They want to do it at Belongil, but they’re not allowed.

“This project is not about New Brighton. The council doesn’t care about us.

“They don’t want to put their hand into their pocket and spend real money on beach drainage or beach nourishment.

“Beach scraping will kill off all the pippis and other creatures that live on the beach itself.”

But the council’s executive manager of planning and environment, Ray Darney, said the New Brighton beach scraping would help build the sand dune volume.

He said this would provide for increased protection for beachfront development and infrastructure, from short-term coastal erosion and oceanic inundation.

As part of the investigation into the scraping trial the council has to prepare a review of environmental factors in accordance with State and Federal legislation.

The council now wants to hear from Aboriginal people who have knowledge relevant to determining the cultural significance of Aboriginal objects and/or places in the area.

Visit council’s website at, or call the coastal and estuary officer, Ben Fitzgibbon, on 6626 7135.

Closing date for registration of interests is Monday, May 31.

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