Erosion at Fingal Beach. Kay Bolton and Ian
Erosion at Fingal Beach. Kay Bolton and Ian "Bunny" Rabbitts. John Gass

New surf club under threat from the sea

FINGAL Rovers Surf Life Saving Club is at risk due to erosion.

Following last month's high tides that took out about 18m of sand dune, the club building is now just 17m from the precarious edge as the sea crashes against an exposed platform.

The club's emergency access has been cut off due to risk to pedestrians and Fingal Head Dune Care president Kay Bolton says the erosion hazard line now runs through the middle of the club.

Tweed Shire Council's Natural Resource Management Co-ordinator Jane Lofthouse said the club and platform are "at potential risk from coastal erosion."

"At this stage both these assets are secure and the council continues to monitor the rate of erosion," she said.

"If the erosion continues the council will remove the viewing platform and require the Fingal Rovers SLSC to cease use of and evacuate the building."

If the erosion continues the council will remove the viewing platform and require the Fingal Rovers SLC

She said there was evidence that some sand is returning to the beach and the exposed rock shelf will assist in reducing the depth of impact from the erosion.

"The council has reopened pedestrian access near the surf club but people are reminded to take care on the beach due to the large number of fallen trees and high erosion scarps."

Vice president of the club Rex Budd said he didn't see erosion as a problem at this stage.

"Beach access is not an issue and I don't think the club is in any danger," he said.

"It's still beyond the 17m mark, though a lot has gone.

"The rocks on the beach put things in our favour."

Mr Budd said once the worst of the big tides was over, the club "should be right."

Fingal Dunecare's Ian Rabbitts said he had no doubt the erosion was due to climate change.

"I've watched a gradual recession since the 1980s and we have now lost 42m of beach," he said.

"I have closely monitored and measured the erosion.

"It's not a one -off, freak thing."

Mr Rabbitts said Fingal used to have frosts.

"It's along time since we had one," he said.

"That's an indication of a major climate change."


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