A NEW battle plan to save Old Bar Beach is being drafted.
It is in early development and will require member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead to pull $700,000 from State Government coffers money that would be matched by Meridian Resort and four residents of Lewis Street and construction company, Aussea Wall.
Greater Taree City Council will also be called on to commit resources to the wall maintenance once it is constructed.
A phone call from Mr Bromhead delivered news of the proposal to Meridian Resort manager, Paul Burton. The call came on the day that Mr Burton learnt of the decision by the NSW Coastal Panel to reject its development application to build coastal erosion protection works.
The panel's decision devastated and angered Mr Burton and development application co-signatories, Ross Keys, Ivan Handel, Lee and Michelle Milford and Malcolm Black.
The group had sought approval to construct a 'soft seawall', a series of sand-filled geofabric bags, angled from sea level up to a height of six or seven metres.
The call from Mr Bromhead was timely and very welcome, according to Mr Burton, and it set to be one of a few key issues discussed this Saturday, August 17 at the Meridian Resort annual general meeting. The decision of the NSW Coastal Panel will also be on the agenda.
Mr Burton said the proposed sea wall would be about 500 to 600 metres and stretch from Racecourse Creek in the north down to Crown Land in the south.
It would be built by Aussea Wall and be the first of its type in Australia.
Aussea Wall is owned by Patrick Johnson and John Nelson and the Old Bar sea wall would serve to provide the company with a construction in Australia that it could promote to secure future contracts.
Mr Johnson said Hastings Council had recently asked Aussea Wall to provide information regarding coastal erosion mitigation measures for Flynns Beach.
Mr Johnson said Aussea Wall was keen to begin detailed discussions with Mr Bromhead and Mr Burton.
Early figures have the proposed wall costing about $2.1 million. The three-way split has the approval of Mr Johnson and Mr Burton and both are keen to see Mr Bromhead secure State Government funding.
Mr Bromhead yesterday described the proposal as a Plan B and said next week he would discuss the issues with minister for the environment and heritage, Robyn Parker.
"The meeting was set for tomorrow but I think it will now be next Wednesday," Mr Bromhead said.
"Paul knows I've made no promises as we need to ensure that all the stakeholders are on board.
"There is so much to be done ... independent engineer assessments, a development application to council, it may have to go through the NSW Coastal Panel I can't foretell what may happen, but it is a plan B," he added.