Erosion at One Tree - Wooli Beach from the last weather event to hit the Clarence Valley.
Erosion at One Tree - Wooli Beach from the last weather event to hit the Clarence Valley. Caitlan Charles

$100,000 set to buy Wooli time from the sea

FOR six years Wooli residents have been raising money to help stave off the effects of rising sea levels.

Tomorrow those efforts should be rewarded when Clarence Valley Council presses the go button on a plan to scrape sand from an intertidal zone on Wooli Beach to nourish 800m of dunes in front of the village.

It was recommended at the Clarence Valley Council environment, planning and community meeting last week that council proceed with the proposal, put together by Wooli residents' group, the Coastal Communities Protection Alliance, Wooli.

The plan involves the CCPA and the council providing a combined $50,000 with the State Government to provide another $50,000 to cover the $100,000 cost of the works.

The council's director environment, planning and community Des Schroder described the project as "worthwhile" as it buys the community time from the effects of rising sea levels.

"They've done a good job and it buys time," he said. "Sand in the frontal dunes buys you resilience. It buys you a couple of storms."

Mr Schroder said it was not the type of beach nourishment proposed in the Wooli Coastal Zone Management Plan, which the State Government again denied approval this week.

"It's plan was to take a lot more sand from further up the beach, which would have bought even more time," Mr Schroder said.

Councillor Greg Clancy was not enthusiastic about the planned beach scraping, quizzing Mr Schroder about the long-term benefits.

"I'm concerned about spending a lot of money on something that will not have a long-term benefit," Cr Clancy said.

"All along the coast, we're losing coastline due to rising sea levels."

Cr Andrew Baker said he is keen for the project start as quickly as possible.

He said it is important the project goes ahead before Christmas to ensure the region is prepared for the holiday periods.

Crs Peter Ellem and Richie Williamson said community members ought to be commended for their devotion to the project.

"This community has shown a preparedness to fund raise to protect the peninsular," Cr Ellem said. "You can't ignore that commitment."