Beach-goers' safety fears

There’s much at stake if the damaged seawall collapses. Photo: Adam Hourigan
There’s much at stake if the damaged seawall collapses. Photo: Adam Hourigan Adam Hourigan

HAVING its club house quite literally on the frontline of the issue of coastal erosion, at Yamba's Main Beach, the Yamba Surf Life Saving Club (YSLSC) has much at stake if the beach's aging, cracking seawall fails.

As a result, the club's president Alan Schofield has warmly welcomed plans from Clarence Valley Council to restore or replace the crucial piece of infrastructure on the beach.

Mayor Richie Williamson said recent erosion problems began on the picturesque beach in 2009 when a run of severe storms washed away tonnes of sand.

"This resulted in the toe of the revetment wall at the back of the beach being undermined and a crack developed along the wall," Cr Williamson said.

"The bottom half of the wall settled, leaving a gap large enough for children to play in. Council was concerned for the safety of children should a part of the wall collapse, trapping them. The crack was filled with concrete."

However, Cr Williamson said questions had again been raised about how the wall would fare in the event of another major storm.

Cr Williamson said the council and the Office of Environment and Heritage had funded a recent study into the structural soundness of the wall and tested the layers beneath the sand to see what kind of repair work may be possible.

He said the next stage of the study would be to develop possible options for restoring or replacing the wall which would go on public display when finalised.

With the YSLSC club house literally on the frontline of the issue on Main Beach, Mr Schofield said a revamp of the seawall was good news.

He said the club has actually suggested council consider a new multi-tiered design which would create sitting areas for beach visitors.

Topics:  erosion, grafton, surf life saving



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