Disaster Declared for Stockton Beach

City welcomes funding support as natural disaster declared at Stockton beach.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes welcomed the news that the NSW Government acceded to Newcastle’s urgent request to declare a Natural Disaster at Stockton.

This declaration means that City of Newcastle is eligible for assistance through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Fund to assist with the cost of cleaning up and restoring our damaged essential public assets at Stockton.

Emergency works continued today at Stockton following significant beach erosion as the City prepares for more potential erosion and large swells in coming days.

Stockton Beach photographed a month ago. This part of the beach north of Stockton Surf Life Saving Club is where the most severe erosion occurred earlier this week.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes met members of the Stockton Community Liaison Group on Tuesday evening to provide an update on the emergency works underway and to reinforce the City’s determination to identify viable long-term measures that are supported by the NSW Government.

Our immediate priorities are to ensure public safety along the coastal area and to protect public and private assets and property,” Councillor Nelmes said.

I have requested the NSW Government declare the Stockton erosion a natural disaster so additional resources can be made available to manage the ongoing issue. This would allow actions that may have a longer-term benefit to be implemented now, overriding our currently limited permissible actions.”

The worst affected erosion areas from last weekend’s event are the southern section of Stockton Beach in front of the Stockton Holiday Park and Dalby Oval from the area north of the Stockton Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) seawall to south of the Mitchell Street seawall.

Works currently underway include:

  • Relocation of compromised ocean-front cabins at the Stockton Holiday Park to alternative sites within the park. Work commenced Monday 10 February and continued today.
  • The area north of Stockton SLSC seawall at Dalby Oval has been severely eroded and has an unstable sand cliff. The area has been fenced off for public safety. The scoping of emergency response is complete, and sandbagging and stormwater repairs that started Monday continue.
  • The southern end of the Mitchell Street seawall has an erosion escarpment and requires repair using one and four-tonne sandbags lifted by crane. These works commenced on Tuesday 11 February and continue.
  • Reinforcing of the sandbag wall at Griffith Street was undertaken on Friday and Saturday 7 and 8. Engineers are assessing this site to consider whether further erosion-repair is required.
  • The accessway at Lexie’s Café has been closed and sandbag emergency protection was installed on Monday.

To facilitate emergency works, traffic management is in place including:

  • 90-degree parking areas south of Pembroke Street on the ocean side of Mitchell Street are closed to facilitate these works
  • Truck movements are occurring in areas including the carpark at Lexie’s Café, the carpark at the Stockton War Memorial and other locations where emergency works are underway
  • Barrie Crescent is open to north-bound traffic only

In the interest of public safety, all accessways along Stockton Beach have been closed until further notice and the community is advised to keep away from the top and bottom of sand cliffs as they may be unstable and collapse without warning.

Erosion has exposed significant amounts of historic material and debris which poses public safety risks. Please avoid the beach and this debris. Arrangements are being made to clean up the debris as weather conditions permit.

City of Newcastle requests all residents and visitors be aware of changed conditions and follow directional signage, warnings notices and instructions of City of Newcastle staff and other authorities.

Crowds view erosion of Stockton Beach in 1948.