Beach Erosion Closes Stockton Childcare Centre

Mission Australia Early Learning Centre at Stockton will permanently close from today due to safety concerns with ongoing sand erosion.

Mission Australia management advised staff and families affected by the closure, and City of Newcastle will now work with the not-for-profit organisation to ensure the safe removal of property from the building before it is demolished.

Aerial view of erosion destroying Mission Australia’s Early Learning Centre at Stockton.

City of Newcastle CEO Jeremy Bath said the Council was informed of Mission Australia’s decision yesterday following expert analysis from coastal engineers who deemed the centre no longer safe for occupation.

Mission Australia has made the decision to cease operating its childcare centre at Stockton 10 months prior to the expiration of its lease agreement,” Mr. Bath said.

Both Mission Australia and the City’s independent coastal engineering advice highlight the significant safety risk from the continuing occupation of the building.

We’ll now take steps to ensure the safe removal of all existing equipment and personal contents before the structure is demolished and the site cleared.

Mr. Bath said recent swell and tidal erosion events had significantly reduced the distance between the building and the sand to the extent that the site was no longer safe to be occupied.

Given historical impacts of erosion at Stockton, we’ve been clear as the property owner for more than 12 months that the building would be demolished when the lease expired mid next year.

In 2016 the City began closely monitoring the Stockton shoreline using a range of technologies including 3D drone-based modelling, ground and aerial photography.

The modelling results showed the dune was relatively stable up until about January 2018 and since then severe weather events have accelerated erosion rates.

In the last two months alone, more than 9,000 cubic metres of sand has been lost from the front of Barrie Crescent Reserve, the equivalent of 1,300 truckloads.”

Following demolition of the childcare centre Barrie Crescent Reserve will be restored recreational space.