Nine years of Old Bar Beach Sand Replenishment Group

The Old Bar Beach Sand Replenishment Group invites the community to our eighth Annual General Meeting on August 20, 2017, starting 2.30pm at Club Old Bar.

Nine years have passed, exciting and hopeful in the beginning talking with forward thinking scientists, then frustrating with the lack of initiative of our State government to take up these ideas which would have created tourism and industry for our area.

Then it was practical engineering protection we took up - a four stage plan presented to us in 2015 by international Coastal Engineer Angus Jackson, the basis of which is supported by many coastal engineers, including Angus Gordon.

We are still hopeful of that coming to fruition under the new Old Bar Manning Point Coastal Management Plan.

As far back as 2008 in the Manning River Times, local geological engineer, Tim Minty was advocating using dredged sand from Farquhar Inlet in geofabric bags to protect our beach.

Since the emergence of MidCoast Council on May 12, 2016, we have made great progress in that council speaks with us often. They have taken action to apply for grants to fund the sand scraping and are working to have the Old Bar Manning Point Coastal Management Plan accepted and gazetted.

However, our problem rests with an over cautious, procrastinating State government. We suggest to government that, provided it is understood something is 95 per cent or more ‘there’, then it is better to go ahead, but make it publicly clear it is recognised there may be a need for some modification but in the mean time get on with the job as soon as possible.

It is better to move forward than to live in fear of making a small mistake and so hold everything up indefinitely.

From our first grand thoughts of the reef costing $10 million, we have had sand scraping at $90,000 – but it is some protection for which we are grateful.

There is always the hands on work done by our ever determined crew – sand traps and dune fencing – and the disappointing results. That was done with a federal grant but we do not have enough beach left for such protection. When we have our beach nourished then the aforementioned methods will be effective and lasting - we will apply for grants then.