Nick Carroll: The Rally Against South Newy’s On-The-Sand Skate Bowl Development This Saturday

24 Jan 2019 3 Share

Nick Carroll

Senior Writer

COASTALWATCH | NICK CARROLL

A STAND WORTH MAKING

Australia Day at South Newcastle might just turn the tide.

I dunno what you’re up to on Australia Day. Hopefully surfing at some point.

But if you happen to be anywhere near South Newcastle Beach at 11am on January 26, you might want to add your voice or face, or just your presence, to a serious surfing cause.

“Stand For The Sand” is a gathering in protest at one of the most unnecessary and invasive shoreline development proposals currently on the desks of any Australian authority.

Newcastle City Council wants to build a concrete enclosed skate bowl at South Newy, extending 25 metres seaward from the promenade. The whole space involved, around 800 sq m, is currently sandy beach.

The council has repeatedly dismissed independent expert commentary as to the effects of this beach concreting exercise and its longer term impact on South Newy. It’s brushed aside its own earlier guidelines on coastal usage in the process. (See earlier story earlier: City Council Planning To Build A Skate Bowl Over An Existing Beach)

The crew organising the Stand rally are at pains to make it clear they’re not against a skate bowl — just the location. The council claims it’s following precedents set with the Bondi and Alexandra Headland skate bowls. But neither of those structures were built over existing sand beach, and neither are anywhere near the high tide line.

Numerous storm surf images show the proposed structure would be pounded by heavy surf on the reg, and would almost certainly contribute to erosion on the beachfront.

The issue goes right to the heart of coastal policy in this country. At a time when every independent expert is ringing bells about future climate change and sea level rise, and even most government bodies are trying to step back from shoreline development, the South Newcastle Beach proposal could provide developers and others with an example in exactly the opposite direction.

CW believes the Council should think again about this proposal, and encourages everyone who can to make it to the Stand. When you actually SEE what’s being proposed, you’ll be glad you showed up to help change their minds.

Stand For The Sand: 11am, Saturday, January 26, South Newcastle Beach

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