Erosion at Dog Beach
Erosion at Dog Beach

Don't fix erosion in a piecemeal way

USING technology from the 1970s was not an adequate response to beach erosion, a Noosa councillor said.

In May, council received an update report on the erosion at Noosa Spit Foreshore, also known as Dog Beach.

Following a knock-back on disaster planning funding, it now intends to carry out a 6-12 month study principally on Noosa River and Main Beach as part of its updating its Shoreline Erosion Management Plan.

But councillors on Monday argued the study should encompass the entire river system and impacts on all beach areas impacted by it, rather than continue piecemeal remedial work which can easily be undone by activity or changes in another part of the water course.

Mayor Tony Wellington said that during the amalgamated council period work was done to stabilise each end of Dog Beach, "which worked for a couple of years”, however proposed work of the middle was never undertaken, resulting in the collapse of the beach centre.

Cr Ingrid Jackson said the estuary and river mouth are not a natural system "because Noosa Sound and Noosa Spit were artificially built and the river trained to exit at one location”.

Cr Brian Stockwell said while sand pumping had proved a success, other past remedial work was not only proving unsuccessful long-term, it was hindering future plans.

"The last lot of big protection work in this location failed,” he said.

"Not only that - some say it increased the problems elsewhere.

"So to proceed with haste to undertake work that may exacerbate a problem rather than solve it, I think is something we have to be very mindful of.

"We are working against the effects of previous stabilisation structures,” Cr Stockwell said.

"River mouths should never be stabilised if you're trying to have a Biosphere.

"One of the really key points is we're moving into an an era where the forces of nature are going to imperil our infrastructure.

"And we're going to have to decide whether we're going to to drop 1970s rock wall technologies and others to try and combat that or whether we are going to look at innovative ways to exemplifying our pumping system whereby it only operates when we need it.

"The river mouth has got international values that need protecting.

"Its primary purpose as a beach protection structure is to protect an extra level of safety for houses constructed in the seventies that were facing the ocean on Noosa Parade.

"That is its primary purpose and one that the SEMP should address.”