Bayside Council calls on the Prime Minister to help with beach restoration

Bayside Council has approved a tender for the restoration of the eroded section of Lady Robinsons Beach at Ramsgate baths in time for the summer swimming season. Picture: John Veage
Bayside Council has approved a tender for the restoration of the eroded section of Lady Robinsons Beach at Ramsgate baths in time for the summer swimming season. Picture: John Veage

Bayside Council mayor Bill Saravinovksi has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison requesting funding to help restore Lady Robinsons Beach.

The council is proposing to restore the eroded section of Lady Robinsons Beach at Ramsgate Baths with 28,000 cubic metres of sand from Sandringham Bay.

This week's council meeting accepted the tender of $700,000 by marine contractor Neumann Contractors Pty Ltd to do the work.

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage has provided $245,000 for the job which the council has matched.

The RMS has provided $230,062 with a possible additional contribution of $53,600, bringing funding available for the beach restoration project to $773,662.

But the council is facing a funding shortfall of $162,792 for the total cost of the beach restoration project which it will have to provide from general reserves.

This week the mayor has written to Prime Minister asking for extra funding support for the restoration of Lady Robinsons Beach which is with his electorate of Cook.

"I wrote to the Prime Minister today asking him to see if they could fund the shortfall," Councillor Saravinovski told Wednesday night's council meeting.

Even if the Prime Minister comes to Bayside Council's aid and provides the extra funds, the work will still be a stop gap.

In 1997 the council, State Government and Sydney Airport completed the restoration of Lady Robinsons Beach between Ida Street, Sans Souci and Florence Street, Ramsgate.

This project involved the construction of eight rock and concrete groynes and the placement of 140,000sqm of sand at a cost of $5.3 million.

Over the years due to ongoing beach erosion in Botany Bay, sand has been lost within Ramsgate Baths creating a dangerous situation for swimmers and undermining the concrete seawall.

To address this situation and restore the beach and baths it is proposed to reclaim 28,000 cubic metres of sand that has accumulated in Sandringham Bay and pump it back into the baths.

It is planned to complete the works and have the baths reopened to the public for the start of the swimming season in December, 2019.

It is critical the work is completed by November 30, which is a condition of the OEH grant.

Councillor Andrew Tsounis told this week's meeting, "It is disappointing that the council has to scurry around looking for funds to fix a beach while State Government waits at a distance to see what we do and achieve with the dribs and drabs we do get occasionally.

"We achieved a grant from the Department of Heritage back in January for $250,000. Council put in another $250,000 but we are still short because of decisions made in the past."

Cr Tsouis said the problem would pursue the council.

"The proposal will bring the sand back north and renourish the beach which should be renourished. But at the end of the day the longer term outcome will not be achieved.

"The groynes will still create the problem along the beachfront.

"The changes in direction of water, the changes in the waves, the development that has occurred within the bay itself and the airport, the channels for the desalination plant, the port have a major, major impact on the beachfront."

Comments