THE study into Wooli coastal erosion which has recommended a planned retreat from areas of the village at risk of being claimed by the ocean has been questioned by Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker.
Mr Hartsuyker said the plan being considered by the Clarence Valley Council to retreat from the affected areas through development controls and a land-swap program could be premature and alternative options should be thoroughly explored.
“One of my concerns is that there doesn’t seem to be much modelling that underpins that study, we really don’t know what the situation in relation to hydraulic action is in any great detail as far as I can ascertain,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“There are two issues at play – one is what is the degree of modelling that has been conducted (and) what other information do we need to have to make informed decisions about Wooli, and; their (Wooli’s) unique set of circumstances where you have a very narrow land spit and potential erosion both from the river side and from the ocean side.
“The other issue is what measures can we put in place to mitigate that?
“We should really be putting in place whatever steps we can to preserve the village and we should have quality hydraulic modelling to base any future strategies on, rather than working on intuition.”
In parliament on Monday, Mr Hartsuyker raised the issue and conveyed the concerns of several Wooli residents who were concerned council was not giving adequate attention to the problem given the size of the small community.
“I believe that Wooli residents deserve treatment equal to that of other ratepayers in the area,” he said.
The Coastal Community Protection Alliance, a group opposed to council’s planned retreat strategy, is holding a public meeting this Sunday at the Wooli Community Hall from 9am and is encouraging anyone interested in learning more about the issue to attend.