Safety is paramount at Reflections Holiday Parks Clarkes Beach with the park’s popular guest lounge demolished over the weekend and safety measures put in place to protect beach-goers from severely-eroded dunes on the beach.
Reflections Holiday Parks CEO Steve Edmonds flew up to the Clarkes Beach park on Friday to assess the extent of the erosion at the park and to coordinate the implementation of safety zones to ensure the safety of curious beach goers wanting to climb the unstable dunes.
Mr Edmonds said that the current erosion in front of the park is the is the worst it has been in 30 years with the latest King High Tides undermining the structural integrity of the park’s guest lounge and causing significant concern for park’s newly-built cabins.
“Reflections is working hard to ensure the recovery of Clarkes Beach and is securing the area to ensure safety for beach goers and park visitors,” Mr Edmonds said.
“We are seeking advice from Coastal Engineers as to the short and long-term measures to put in place to mitigate the effects to the Clarkes Beach park and its assets.
“Safety is paramount at this time, and once we get approval from the relevant authorities, will be working on dune remediation measures including urgent sandbagging to reduce further damage.
“As a further precaution we will be relocating three of our environmentally-sensitive cabins away from the beach side of the park,
“Erosion protection was a big consideration when we installed them earlier this year and we worked hard to ensure minimal impact to the environment.
“Rainwater tanks were installed to take the pressure off the rainwater flow and rehabilitative native vegetation was planted.
“Their design means that we will be able to relocate them with no further impact to the park.”
Mr Edmonds said sand dune protection was incredibly important at Clarkes Beach and Reflections has been looking at design solutions to stop erosion of the sand dunes located at the front of the park for some time.
“The current extent of the erosion shows how imperative our project is to ensure stabilisation of the park surrounds and environment,” Mr Edmonds said.
“Another project we are working on in line with erosion protection is a Stormwater Gulley Erosion project with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Byron Shire Council and the Arakwal.”
The dune area in front of the park has been cordoned off and has been declared a no go zone off limits to the public. Reflections ask that media and beach goers don’t walk within the cordoned areas and try and climb the dunes.
Mr Edmonds said he stood by the dunes during the weekend and kept people away from the danger zone.
“People are naturally curious and wanted to take photos and get a close up look of the extent of the erosion,” Mr Edmonds said.
“I urge people to respect the secured area for their own safety and the safety of others.
“Temporary erosion prevention measures are being considered now and we want to protect as many rainforest trees from falling into the ocean. There are many that have fallen already and to stand close to the dunes can be very dangerous.
“We will start a clean-up when it is safe to do so. There are many people completely ignoring barriers and warning signs to access the beach and enter the surf.
“No wave, no matter how good, is worth risking your safety over so please obey the signs.”