Work to fight against severe erosion at Stockton beach exacerbated by extreme weather over the weekend has received desperately needed support, with the NSW Government declaring Newcastle a natural disaster area.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes has welcomed the news that the NSW Government listened to City of Newcastle’s urgent request to declare a Natural Disaster at Stockton.
“This declaration means that City of Newcastle is eligible for assistance through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Fund to assist with the cost of cleaning up and restoring our damaged essential public assets at Stockton.
“An enormous thank you goes to our amazing City of Newcastle staff who have been undertaking emergency works to protect the Stockton community and our public assets from this erosion catastrophe.
“We’re pleased that this declaration enables us to deal with the short-term impact, but we will continue to call for urgent support from the Premier, Deputy Premier, Environment and Local Government Ministers to deliver a viable long-term solution.
The support offered through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements assists local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets.
“Our immediate priorities are to ensure public safety along the coastal area and to protect public and private assets and property,” Councillor Nelmes said.
Meanwhile, emergency works will continue today at Stockton following significant beach erosion as the City prepares for another storm front and large swells in coming days.
City of Newcastle has completed the relocation of 3 cabins, and we continue the relocation of all ocean edge cabins at Stockton Holiday Park at risk of collapse into the ocean in the face of a low-pressure system predicted to batter the coast in the coming days. To facilitate emergency works, traffic management is in place.
In the interest of public safety, all accessways along Stockton Beach have been closed until further notice and the community is advised to keep away from the top and bottom of sand cliffs as they may be unstable and collapse without warning.
Erosion has exposed significant amounts of historic material and debris which poses public safety risks. Please avoid the beach and this debris. Arrangements are being made to clean up the debris as weather conditions permit.
City of Newcastle requests all residents and visitors be aware of changed conditions and follow directional signage, warnings notices and instructions of City of Newcastle staff and other authorities.