The impending approval of a gas import terminal at Kooragang Island and its associated sand dredging presents an important opportunity to get sand back on to Stockton Beach, says Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp.
Newcastle GasDock Company’s $589 million project has been deemed a State Significant Development, with approval expected to be received by the end of the year. Dredging of the south channel of the Hunter River would be needed.
Preliminary investigations suggest that over 1 million cubic metres of high-quality sand could be available.
An approval already exists for dredged river sand to be dumped at sea, but Mr Crakanthorp said that the opportunity to place a significant amount of sand on Stockton Beach should not be missed and requires further and urgent consideration.
Last week, Mr Crakanthorp wrote to Planning Minister Rob Stokes about the possibility of amending the dredging approval to allow the sand to be placed on the beach. He has also requested a meeting with the Minister, and asked the Minister to appoint the Hunter Central Coast Development Corporation as the lead body to work with key stakeholders to seek the appropriate approvals.
“It is critical that all options are considered to address erosion at Stockton, so we can’t let this possibility pass us by,” Mr Crakanthorp said.
“This river sand would only be a one-off, but it’s a good initial amount while the offshore sand solution is progressed simultaneously.
“While offshore sand is what we ultimately need, any opportunity to get sand back on to Stockton Beach needs to be embraced and investigated.”