Residents reject 'do nothing' erosion option

THE “do nothing” option will not be considered by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council as a response to the management of coastal erosion at Lake Cathie, says the council’s coastal and estuaries committee.

A meeting of the Hastings LGA Coastal and Estuaries Committee on November 26 considered the outcomes of the consultation of the draft Lake Cathie Coastline Management Study and has recommended to PMHC that the reactive management option is no longer considered.

Local campaigner and Lake Cathie resident Leslie Williams said that local Illaroo Road residents were pleased to see this option removed and that consideration would now focus on alternatives such as beach nourishment, seawalls and planned retreat.

The reactive management option, where the response to the impact of coastal erosion would involve the removal of infrastructure including road and services as erosion takes place, would have seen no compensation to landowners for loss of property.

PMHC’s development and environment director Matt Rogers said the “do nothing” option had been dismissed in the report to go before the next council meeting, as the council recognised the impact of that option on residents and was unacceptable.

The council will also consider moves to permit residents to make contributions to protection work, while development applications for Illaroo Rd properties would not be accepted until the erosion issue was resolved.

The sub committee supports a seven point recommentation to go before the council today, December 16, the last meeting of the year.

Mrs Williams congratulated the Lake Cathie community for their input to the consultation process and for their extensive campaign to raise awareness about coastal erosion issues.

“The time taken to compile submissions responding to the Draft Coastal Management Study has certainly paid off and has removed the option which was causing the most distress to Illaroo Road residents”.

“The hard work of the local Lake Cathie Progress Association (LCPA) and the Dune Care group are also to be applauded for surveying the community’s concerns and for their extensive submissions to Council.”