Rockdale MP Steve Kamper says more groynes need to be built and existing structures repaired to combat erosion

Steve Kamper says existing groynes are falling into disrepair and could collapse. Picture: Chris Lane
Steve Kamper says existing groynes are falling into disrepair and could collapse. Picture: Chris Lane

Rockdale MP Steve Kamper says extra groynes should be constructed and existing structures repaired to combat erosion on Lady Robinsons Beach.

Mr Kamper was speaking in State Parliament following the Leader’s report on continuing loss of foreshore, with the beach at Ramsgate baths the latest to be washed away.

The walkway between Ramsgate and Dolls Point.

The walkway between Ramsgate and Dolls Point.

The MP said “report after report” had revealed the cause was largely related to the dredging for Port Botany.

“The entire character of the bay has changed and the state has an obligation to fix this,” he said.

Mr Kamper said “stopgap solutions” over the last few years from Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) had failed.

They had “largely involved transporting sand from one end of the bay to the other, costing taxpayers around half a million dollars per year”. 

“We need a permanent solution, and it is incumbent on the state government, which receives the benefits of Port Botany, to stump up the cash, make good and take responsibility for the destruction of our beaches caused by the port,” he said.

The beach at Ramsgate baths has disappeared.

The beach at Ramsgate baths has disappeared.

Mr Kamper said the community was “not asking for a handout’, but, rather, fulfillment of the long-standing understanding between the former Rockdale Council and its successor, Bayside Council, the government would set aside some of the profits from Port Botany to deal with the impact on water and sand movement.

“While eight groynes were provided for by the state government in 1997 as part of the restoration of the foreshore, in recent years repairs have not kept up with damage caused by waves and storm surges, and many of these are badly in need of repair and expansion,” he said.

“Furthermore, we need additional groynes which comply with the modern understanding of wave movements and sand retention techniques to prevent the total disappearance of our beaches along Botany Bay.”

Mr Kamper said it was vital the issue received immediate attention from the minister [Melinda Pavey] “before further damage is done or, worse still, the existing groynes are allowed to collapse”.

“It was just 10 years ago that residents and visitors could relax on the beach at Carruthers Drive in Sans Souci,” he said.

A home in Carruthers Drive, Sans Souci, which was inundated by water in 2016.

A home in Carruthers Drive, Sans Souci, which was inundated by water in 2016.

“Now, water comes up to the road at high tide and many residents who bought into the beachfront lifestyle face flooding on a regular basis.

“Seawater flows over the seawall and into people's houses during storms and at high tides, which is totally unacceptable.”

Mr Kamper said, because  of the massive foreshore sand movements, there were dramatic drops from shallow water into deep channels, with strong currents around the Dolls Point and Sans Souci areas of the beach.

This situation had led to the tragic death of Ayman Ksebe in 2013 at Dolls Point and several near misses since.

“Even strong swimmers have reported the dangers of these channels to me and if Kalymnian divers such as Ross Tsounias from famed Kalymnian sponge-diving stock believe this to be dangerous, what hope do inexperienced swimmers and children have?” he said.