The NSW Government will fund a study into erosion in the Clyde River estuary, after sustained pressure from landowners in Surfside.
On Tuesday, September 4, a Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) management team met representatives from Wharf Road, Lower Surfside, the Eurobodalla Coast Alliance, and the NSW Coastal Alliance (NCA).
NCA spokesman, Ian Hitchcock, said the group was “absolutely ecstatic”.
The NCA said the RMS study was: “primarily designed to ensure that the new bridge design does not exacerbate the current erosion issue.”
“The hydrological effects of the new bridge, now in design, will be re-modelled, and potential negative effects identified and corrected if necessary,” the group said.
“At the direction of the NSW Transport Minister and local member, Andrew Constance, the study will be extended to include the whole Clyde estuary erosion issue.
“Community representatives expect the study to examine the cause or causes of the historical erosion in the estuary, and include a scope of works to rectify the damage.”
Bega MP Andrew Constance confirmed he had obtained funds for the study.
“I asked the Roads Minister for this, to give certainty to the community,” Mr Constance said.
“The outcomes we want are to ensure the new structure does not affect the area, and to identify short-to-medium term solutions to stabilise the area. This is an important first step.”
The search for a solution to Wharf Road inundation is ambitious.
In July this year, the Eurobodalla Shire Council declined to fund a similar study on behalf of landowners, but did commit to advocating to the state government on their behalf.
At the time, Councillor Maureen Nathan said the issue had “dragged on for 30 years”.
One solution suggested by landowners was a rock retaining wall, similar to the one protecting the CBD.
Councillor Lindsay Brown said such measures didn’t come cheap.
“Retaining walls come at a cost – I can’t recall them being built in the state for quite some time,” he said.
Mr Constance did not indicate what a solution might be.
“I won’t pre-empt that – I’m not an engineer,” he said.
“The study plus community input will enable us to go forward.”
He estimated the study would cost “approximately tens of thousands of dollars," but was not able to confirm.
The RMS has been approached for comment, but have not yet responded.