Coastal concerns growing at Wooli

The Wooli Coastal Community Protection Alliance (CCPA) and Wooli residents meet at their local hall.
The Wooli Coastal Community Protection Alliance (CCPA) and Wooli residents meet at their local hall.

THE second meeting of the Coastal Community Protection Alliance-Wooli drew a crowd of more than 85 residents, holiday property owners and visitors to the Wooli Community Hall yesterday.

The group was formed in response to the recently released Draft Coastal Management Plan for Wooli which advocates abandonment of the village.

The group's president Bruce Bird opened the meeting, which included Clarence Valley Council (CVC) councillors Jim Simmons and Craig Howe and Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker.

Spokesperson for the CCPA's steering committee, Peter Dunn, explained, “this meeting is firstly to show CVC the depth and breadth of community concern about the proposed policy of abandonment of a vibrant and historically rich community in a uniquely pristine coastal and riverine environment, and secondly to extend our campaign plans for formulating a viable alternative approach to solving this complex problem.”

Comments from the floor indicated the level of ratepayers' concern in the small community was growing.

Rod Ford, real estate agent for YCoast Real Estate, reinforced the dramatic negative effect on real estate values that the Draft LEP, advocating planned withdrawal, has had.

“Imagine if Yamba or Grafton had had no real estate sales for nine months as the result of a council draft plan,” Mr Ford said.

“The only thing that will get asset value back is to wholly and solely endorse the work of the CCPA-Wooli in their efforts to convince the council to reject the draft plan and start looking at alternatives.”

Lindsay Olen, 87, addressed the meeting about the effects of narrowing the mouth of the Wooli River.

“Training walls built without provision for flood relief will always cause extensive shoaling of the river, aggravated flooding and aggressive riverbank erosion.”

Contact has been made by the group with the 18 other “hot spot” communities facing similar threats from government responses to climatic threats and there are plans for a summit conference of the communities ahead of the state elections.

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