All-abilities beach access ramp at Clarkes Beach Byron Bay
All-abilities beach access ramp at Clarkes Beach Byron Bay Byron Shire Council

NO-GO ZONE: Stay away from popular beach after major erosion

BEACHGOERS are being urged to stay away from Clarkes Beach after the coastline has suffered significant coastal erosion causing damage to the dunes.

Reflections Holiday Parks at Clarkes Beach has also been impacted by the erosion, forcing the holiday park to relocate some of its cabins because of safety concerns.

Byron Shire Council's infrastructure services director Phil Holloway said the dunes could potentially collapse.

"Safety is paramount. People are urged to not walk or sit close to the erosion escarpment and not allow children or anyone to play or dig near the dunes," Mr Holloway said.

"Clarkes Beach is presently starved of sand due to the limited sand bypassing Cape Byron. Plus, we've had high tides and dangerous surf conditions."

 

Mr Holloway said council staff have been monitoring the situation and removing debris from council controlled areas over the weekend.

Access tracks from the coastal reserve to Clarkes beach have undergone severe erosion, collapsed and have been closed to the public until they can be repaired.

Meanwhile, Reflections Holiday Parks CEO Steve Edmonds said the holiday park would continue to ensure visitors safety was upheld, after the park's popular guest lounge was demolished over the weekend

Mr Edmonds said that the current erosion in front of the park is the is the worst it has been in 30 years with the latest King High Tides undermining the structural integrity of the park's guest lounge and causing significant concern for park's newly-built cabins.

"Reflections is working hard to ensure the recovery of Clarkes Beach and is securing the area to ensure safety for beach goers and park visitors," Mr Edmonds said.

"We are seeking advice from Coastal Engineers as to the short and long-term measures to put in place to mitigate the effects to the Clarkes Beach park and its assets.  

"Safety is paramount at this time, and once we get approval from the relevant authorities, will be working on dune remediation measures including urgent sandbagging to reduce further damage.

"As a further precaution we will be relocating three of our environmentally-sensitive cabins away from the beach side of the park,

"Erosion protection was a big consideration when we installed them earlier this year and we worked hard to ensure minimal impact to the environment.  

"Rainwater tanks were installed to take the pressure off the rainwater flow and rehabilitative native vegetation was planted.

"Their design means that we will be able to relocate them with no further impact to the park."

The dune area in front of the park has been cordoned off and has been declared a no go zone off limits to the public.

Mr Edmonds warned people should stay clear of the danger zones.

"People are naturally curious and wanted to take photos and get a close up look of the extent of the erosion," Mr Edmonds said.  

"I urge people to respect the secured area for their own safety and the safety of others.

"Temporary erosion prevention measures are being considered now and we want to protect as many rainforest trees from falling into the ocean. There are many that have fallen already and to stand close to the dunes can be very dangerous.  

"We will start a clean-up when it is safe to do so. There are many people completely ignoring barriers and warning signs to access the beach and enter the surf.  

"No wave, no matter how good, is worth risking your safety over so please obey the signs."

The foreshore dune at New Brighton has also suffered some erosion that has created an escarpment around 1m in front of the existing dune protection fencing and if it continues, dune fencing may be affected. Council staff are also monitoring these areas.