Coastal Study


Submission - Lake Cathie Coastline Management Study

We submit the following for consideration.


We fully support the above submission.

We also endorse the following extract from the Landcare submission which refers to past Councils’ lack of attention to Lake Cathie erosion.

"Council has not acted responsibly in managing the coastal zone in the following ways:

1) Ignoring the condition of the defective stormwater drainage.

2) Refusing to address localised beach erosion, often stating that funds were not


3) Failure to properly manage weed invasion to the dune fields.

4) Failure to address informal beach access points in time.”


These statements are supported in the Progress Association’s archives which include many, many requests over the last fifty years to past Councils for attention to increasing erosion. The attached letter from Hastings Municipal Council dated 22nd November 1985 is typical of responses from Council which have led to the local community having an attitude of sarcasm and a lack of trust in Council’s motives. In the 1985 letter Council admits to knowledge of the erosion but states that “funding is not available for dunal restoration and stabilization works”



The Progress Association has conducted a community survey on some of the basic issues involved in options to overcome the erosion and other problems related to the coast and the closely linked estuary system. Input sheets from the survey are attached and the following notes demonstrate the value the community places of these valuable public assets.

We believe the quality of the input highlights the high level of importance residents from the entire LGA place on the environmental, social and recreation values of the area.



Results from community responses to the Coastal Study are attached. The high rate of returns 125 from 600 issued is an excellent guide to the community interest in resolving the current, past and future problems in the most effective manner. Community input is summarised below.

QUESTION: Do you believe Council should couple its options for stabilising coastal erosion with options to improve the health of the estuary (especially) east of Ocean Drive Bridge?


ANSWER: 123 (98 %) supported this action.

It is obvious that the community recognises the connection between the two issues which to date Council have treated as “separate” problems. The connection between estuary and coastal system is referred to many times in eleven (11) studies conducted to date with little or no action taken by past Councils. For example:

“The isolation of Lake Innes from tidal flows would improve ocean entrance stability” (The Lake Innes-Lake Cathie Catchment Study- Colin Creighton 1983)

The problems extend from Lake Innes to the silted estuary channels and poorly designed bridges which drastically restrict natural flushing of the estuary. The end result is the build up of sand in the entrance areas and the loss of a natural sand groyne formed in the past with sand naturally flushed from the estuary.

The community strongly favours an integrated management plan to be adopted for the entire estuary and coastal system in place of the current piecemeal approach adopted by Council and other government agencies which has proven to be ineffective and could lead to an environmental disaster.



It is worth noting here that a former Council Director in October 2006 stated that the study area would be from Middle Rock to 1.5 km north of the entrance and would include the area east of Ocean Drive Bridge. Unfortunately for the outcome of the study this did not occur and the study is seriously flawed due to these omissions.

QUESTION: Do you agree that Council should undertake some short term remedial work along the coastline?


ANSWER: 110 responses (90 %) supported this option to minimise erosion in the near term and allow time to adopt other engineering options.

QUESTION: Do you agree the highest priority short term remedial works should be the two Storm Water Outlets near corners of Kywong & Illaroo and Kalang & Illaroo?


ANSWER: 108 responses (95%) favour repair of storm water outlets near Kywong & Kalang Sts.

Other short term remedial suggestions from the community:

Storm water outlets to be repaired in accordance with the Lake Cathie Southern Foreshore


Management Plan 2003 to minimise velocity of outflows which are currently causing erosion.

Investigate seepage through the dunal system causing slumping of wet sand from the dunes.

Dunal rehabilitation

Dune revegetation

Protection of the Sepp 26 Littoral Rainforest is essential.

Make Illaroo Drive a one way street. Vibrations from vehicles cause movement in dunal sands.

Close unauthorised beach accesses.


QUESTION: Would you agree to a Groyne (BREAKWALL) being constructed south of the entrance?


ANSWER: 82 (93 %) of community responses favour this option.

Unfortunately Council’s failure to include the area north of the entrance and the section of the estuary east of Ocean Drive Bridge brings into doubt the outcome of this option and for that matter all of the other twelve options, due to unknown flow on effects on the estuary and northern coastline.

To follow the community’s wish for a Groyne perhaps a temporary Goetube Groyne with monitoring over a twelve or twenty four month period to study results may be an option. We are not qualified to judge the result of this and further studies will be required.

QUESTION: Do you agree with sand being pumped from the area east of Ocean Drive Bridge to the beach south of the entrance?


ANSWER: 80 (87%) of responses favour this option.

Again the limit of the study area throws doubt as to the effectiveness of this option if a Groyne is not possible.



The cost of pumping sand from the entrance area is a duplication of costs for dredging at five (5) year intervals under the Estuary Management Strategy. The costs taken up in the Dredging budget should be deducted from the beach renourishment estimates. Next dredging is due 2010.

QUESTION: Do you agree that “DO NOTHING” should be considered as an option to deal with the coastal erosion?


ANSWER: 99 (95%) of responses REJECT this as an option.


The Progress Association totally rejects the “DO NOTHING” option and supports implementation of protective actions in addressing erosion and protection of properties. Stormwater outlets, water seeping through and damaging the dunes and stopping unauthorised beach access are essential short term works which should be undertaken by Council.

QUESTION: Which of the following do you support?



Solutions for Coastal erosion only 0

Solutions for Lake / Estuary only 0

Combined Solutions for both

the Lake & the Coastal erosion 102 (100%)

On behalf of the Community’s unanimous support for a combined management regime we request Council to have this matter placed on the Agenda of the next Estuary management Committee Meeting.


Please click here to Download the Coastal Study document


Please click here to view Environmental Trust Littoral Rainforest Restoration article