NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay and Labor State Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp have backed pleas for Stockton Beach to be declared a Natural Disaster following another devastating weekend of erosion.
Stockton’s caravan park is the latest site to come under threat, only four months after the suburb’s only childcare centre was demolished as a result of the receding coastline.
In September Ms McKay visited the community with Mr Crakanthorp and called on the Berejiklian Liberal Government to:
- Immediately appoint a State Recovery Coordinator to manage a whole of government response to the erosion crisis at Stockton.
- Direct the Coordinator to urgently assist City of Newcastle with repairs, stabilisation and beach replenishment works to protect Stockton and save the beach.
- Work collaboratively with the City of Newcastle, the community and business to expedite the Coastal Management Program, for completion and adoption by the end of the year, to address long term erosion in Stockton.
The Government ignored Labor’s call and instead the Minister for Local Government committed to finding a long-term solution by the end of 2019. Disappointingly, the Minister failed to meet this deadline.
Ms McKay said: “The Government’s neglect of one of Newcastle’s beloved beaches is unacceptable and it would not be allowed to happen at Bondi or Manly. The people of Newcastle deserve better.”
Mr Crakanthorp said: “Time is slipping away, and Stockton is slipping faster.
“How much more do we need to lose? How dangerous does this have to become for the community before this Government pulls its finger out and acts?
“The fact that the Liberal Government ignored our calls for a State Recovery Coordinator has undoubtedly resulted in further damage to Stockton.
“A Natural Disaster declaration would be a step in the right direction, but ultimately what we need is an urgent solution to this erosion crisis and this Government must act now.”