Making Wamberal Beach Safe Again

31 Jul 2020

The NSW Government will establish a Taskforce to drive the delivery of a long-term solution to the coastal erosion issues at Wamberal Beach.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch said the recent erosion has highlighted the vulnerability of the area and the urgent need for Central Coast Council to plan and deliver a long-term solution.


“Community confidence in Council is at rock bottom and we have witnessed years of go-nowhere discussions between Council and local residents,” Mr Crouch said.


“The Coastal Management Act makes it crystal clear that Council has responsibility for the management of Wamberal Beach and this will not change.


“The Taskforce’s purpose is to bring together key experts and stakeholders, and assist Council with the planning and delivery of this long-term solution.


“Building a wall will be complex but is essential to protect the hundreds of millions of dollars of public and private assets along Ocean View Drive.”


Mr Crouch said key areas of focus will include the review and design of a terminal protection structure for Wamberal, investigating sources of sand and the feasibility of beach nourishment as well as seeking priority capital and operational funding required.


The Taskforce will be chaired by Dr Phil Watson, an internationally recognised coastal engineer with extensive experience in coastal management. Dr Watson has already played a key role in assisting with the emergency response to the situation at Wamberal.


Members of the Taskforce will include:

  • Dr Phil Watson, Independent chair;  
  • Adam Crouch MP, Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and Member for Terrigal;
  • Gary Murphy, CEO of Central Coast Council;
  • For the duration of her appointment as Local Recovery Coordinator, Lee Shearer APM, to ensure a seamless transition from the recovery phase;
  • A representative from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (Energy and Science Group);
  • A representative from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (Planning and Assessment); and
  • A representative from Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (Crown Lands).


Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said the Government is committed to helping councils respond to existing and future challenges arising from coastal management. 


“The Government has already provided $213,118 for Council to develop plans for a long-term solution for Wamberal, and we stand ready to assist Council further,” Mrs Hancock said.


With Wamberal declared a Significant Open Coast Location, Council can apply for funding to implement actions in its Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) at any time.


“I encourage Council to implement actions outlined in its CZMP to mitigate the risk of coastal erosion and to work with the Government to obtain funding to implement solutions. To that end, I have instructed my Department to rapidly assess any funding applications received from the Council.”