'Don't rip out Wooli's heart'

Protection needed: Kevin, Mel and Carly Shanahan of Wooli don’t want to see part of the village lost to coastal erosion.
Protection needed: Kevin, Mel and Carly Shanahan of Wooli don’t want to see part of the village lost to coastal erosion.

WOOLI mother of four Mel Shanahan is afraid Clarence Valley Council’s proposed plan to relocate the old part of the village to an alternate site in the village will rip the heart out of the community.

“What would Wooli be if there was no old village,” Ms Shanahan said.

“I think the old part of the village is important to the community and what people refer to when they talk about Wooli.”

She said if council forced home owners at the southern end of the village to abandon their houses, Wooli would never be the same.

“My biggest concern is how it will affect us as a community,” Ms Shanahan said.

“I just couldn’t imagine, it’s too hard to imagine.”

A keen surfer, Ms Shanahan has lived at Wooli for 18 years.

Her children grew up playing on Wooli beach and attended Wooli Public School, which is also under threat of relocation.

Although the Shanahans’ home is not under council’s relocation radar, Mel said she would stand by her neighbours further up the beach and push for council to look into ways to defend the village from coastal erosion.

“I think they should at least look into ways to protect the village, like pulling the break wall out or dredging the river,” Ms Shanahan said.

“These options haven’t been researched or studied so council should at least look into them before giving up on us.”

Residents, home and business owners, and supporters of saving Wooli have formed the action group, Coastal Community Protection Alliance – Wooli. The group aims to encourage Clarence Valley Council to seek other solutions for the future of the village.

Council will vote on the Draft Wooli Village Coastal Zone Management Plan at its December meeting.

For more information on the community group’s actions, visit

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