Roxanne Mccarty-O’Kane – 23rd June 2011
THE council will find itself between a rock and hard place if it tries to construct a rockwall along the Alexandra Headland-to-Maroochydore stretch to try to stop the erosion of sand dunes.
Surfrider Australia Foundation Sunshine Coast branch president Sally Atkinson said members held a community information session last weekend when a decision was taken to encourage the council to consider soft infrastructure measures to combat erosion, as opposed to the construction of a permanent rockwall.
“Rockwalls, while they may seem the most cost-effective way of abating erosion, also incur ongoing maintenance costs and have environmental impacts on ecosystems and the surrounding flora and fauna,” Ms Atkinson said.
“The aim is to dissipate wave action coming onto the coastline. “The best idea is to bring in sediment that builds the beach in a natural way. “A rockwall will ultimately have a negative impact on beach users in the long term. It won’t counter erosion; it will potentially exacerbate the problem.”
Ms Atkinson said history showed once a seawall was put in place, it would not be removed despite any problems arising from its effectiveness, or lack of it.
Councillor Chris Thompson said the council had not yet made any final decisions on the project as it was still under investigation by commissioned experts. “I’ve been led to believe there are a couple of options, including some sand-bagging similar to that along Mooloolaba beach, a hidden rockwall and even a combination of sand-bagging and some replenishment.
“Anything we do is likely to cost a significant amount of money and we will still be at the mercy of the elements and the ocean.” Cr Thompson said the recommendations should be brought to the council in the next few months.