CCPA-Wooli representatives Kristin Stubbins, Tim Heldt and Peter Dunn met Clarence Valley Council officers Des Schroeder, David Morrison and Scott Lenton on 12 August at CVC offices in Grafton to discuss the latest Wooli Draft Coastal Zone Management Plan and the controversial planned retreat option contained in it.
The four main CZMP sections are Long Term Solutions, Emergency Action Plan, new development Planning Controls and Dune Care, which has been rejuvenated and has a member on the CCPA Steering Committee. The existing draft CZMP has recommendeds planned retreat as the Long Term Solution. Discussion of this was highest on CCPA ‘s agenda at the meeting. CVC ‘s current priority is to submit the EAP and Planning Control proposals as required by state government later this year. They are also preparing to amend the Long Term Solutions component in accordance with expected directives from the new state government and community feedback.
Both parties agreed that Wooli ‘s beach erosion problems require a broader, more informed and more solution-based approach than expressed in the 2010 draft plan and that conducting the required research to produce a mutually-supported long term solution will take some time.
It was agreed that CVC and the Wooli community would collaborate in revising elements of the plan and in research to support solutions other than planned retreat. CVC stated that the land-swap arrangement is to be removed from the plan. There is still a lot of work to do to determine the Long Term Solution but council clearly indicated very little, is any, of that work would concern planned retreat for existing dwellings.
Funding requirements and strategies were discussed for conducting this research. Based on Dr Shaw Mead ‘s report (March 2011) these requirements are relatively modest. CVC suggested a joint community/council funding request to Environment Minister Robyn Parker when the plan is submitted. Kristin ‘s meeting with Ms Parker in July indicated that some level of funding for research into Wooli beach processes may be available. At this meeting, Ms Parker also advocated the need for community and local government co-operation on these issues. CVC ‘s preparedness to meet and work with Wooli community is a positive move in this direction.
There remains the issue of funding for long term solutions. We pressed CVC not to discount long term options on the basis of perceived cost until funding questions are properly examined. Investigating funding options will be a priority for us as our campaign progresses.
The next joint working session is planned for late September to be followed by a community meeting in early October at Wooli where CVC and CCPA will update the community on progress.
Detailed minutes of the meeting and information on Shaw Mead ‘s report are available from Peter Dunn on firstname.lastname@example.org.