News

Council most concerned about sandbagged area in Torquay

ALL eyes will be on Hervey Bay's beaches as the Fraser Coast Regional Council waits and hopes its sandbags will hold back the sea in potentially cyclonic conditions.

In Hervey Bay, swell coupled with high tides, rain and wind is expected to again put pressure on our foreshore in the next few days.

Infrastructure councillor Trevor McDonald said the council's biggest concern was the sandbagged area at the Torquay Caravan Park.

"Water getting behind the sandbags and exposing them even further," he said.

Once the bags are exposed to sunlight they break down and the council must remove the bags at any sign of disintegration.

Erosion expert John McGinn has labelled the council's erosion management as "bloody awful".

The council's rockwall in Scarness is in the middle of being refurbished and Mr McGinn, who spent more than 15 years working in the US on major erosion projects in San Francisco and Nevada before settling down in Toogoom, says temporary damage could occur if the wild weather is as predicted.

But Cr McDonald has refuted those claims, saying there was remaining rock protecting all sections of that area.

He admitted the council wasn't able to prevent erosion incidents but did have to respond to them.

"We are still catching up from Cyclone Oswald - that was two years ago," he said.

Mr McGinn said the extent of the damage on the region's beaches would be determined by the wind direction.

Wind in the easterly direction may provide some reprieve from the usually devastating northerlies, he said.

Mr McGinn said an atrificial reef staggered along the length of Hervey Bay would protect the beach.

"If you put something in there it will deflect the energy of the rising waves and you're halfway there to protecting the beach," he said.

Today's tide times

Hervey Bay

Low 2.39am, 0.3m

High 8.55am, 4.2m

Low 3.32pm, 0.4m

High 9.18pm, 3.8m

Topics:  beaches, cyclone, erosion, hervey bay, rock wall, torquay, trevor mcdonald, wildweather



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