Experts tackle Wooli erosion

WOOLI homeowners are hoping experts called in to come up with solutions to encroaching sea water will offer a viable alternative to Clarence Valley Council’s planned retreat proposal.

More than 120 people packed the Wooli Hotel on a Saturday late last month to hear invited guests address supporters and members of the Coastal Communities Protection Alliance-Wooli Incorporated (CCPA).

The guests included Professor Roger Tomlinson from Griffith University’s coastal management unit and Shaw Mead from international marine engineering consultancy ASR.

“The large attendance and the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the meeting have given our campaign a big boost,” CCPA member Dr Bruce Ward said.

“The planned retreat proposal has caused much uncertainty and distress within the Wooli community since its release.

“But people are beginning to see the possibility of solutions to coastal erosion threats that don’t involve the destruction of communities,” he said.

The meeting’s theme was “planning for success, not retreat”.

Dr Ward said the upcoming State election would have significant implications for communities facing coastal management plans involving planned retreat in the face of coastline erosion.

Also at the meeting were Catherine Cusack, Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability, and Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell.

Ms Cusack sent a strong message of support to CCPA’s campaign and indicated a Liberal/National coalition government would propose planned retreat only as a final resort after extensive research into other options.

Dr Ward said she expressed interest in exploring some of the ideas presented.

“The minister’s comments were very encouraging,” Dr Ward said.

“CCPA has been pressing for a more accommodating and responsive legislative framework to deal with these issues.”

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