Shellharbour Council Step Closer to Warilla Beach Seawall Reconstruction

Shellharbour City Council is moving ahead with plans for the reconstruction of the Warilla Beach seawall, inviting the community to provide feedback on the $15 million project.

Council is investing $8.2 million in the renewal project, with the remaining $6.8 million funded by the NSW State Government’s Coastal and Estuary Grants Project.

The wall’s reconstruction will improve safety for the high number of people that visit the popular beach and use the nearby shared path. It will also provide coastal protection to this section of the shoreline.

The 930m seawall was first built in the 1960s. Over time, coastal erosion has contributed to instability. The renewal of the seawall was included in the council’s Coastal Zone Management Plan in 2018.

The wall will be rebuilt to modern engineering standards to address erosion and public safety concerns, with construction expected to begin in mid-2022.

Council has engaged an environmental consultant to prepare a Review of Environmental Factors (REF) to determine environmental impacts and management strategies.

Council is reviewing the REF, which will then be available to the public. Council will go to tender to find a suitable contractor.

The community is encouraged to provide feedback via Council’s Let’s Chat page: https://letschatshellharbour.com/warilla-beach-seawall-renewal

Shellharbour Mayor Chris Homer said the seawall’s reconstruction was a significant undertaking that would provide much-needed safety and environmental benefits well into the future, including climate resilience.

“The wall was originally constructed after storm events in 1966 that threatened private properties and sewerage infrastructure,” Mayor Homer said.

“The original construction was done in a fairly ad-hoc manner using rock that was not particularly suited for that purpose.”

“The wall was extended and upgraded in 1974, 1975 and 1978. Since 1980, maintenance works have involved additional rock fill and strategic placement of rock,” he said.

“The east coast low in 2016 resulted in extensive damage and since then, Council has repaired damaged sections as needed,” he said.

Mayor Homer thanked the NSW State Government for its support and funding towards the cost of the project.

Public access during construction

Warilla Beach will be accessible from Tom Strong reserve for the duration of the project. As works progress along the revetment the existing access stairs and ramp will be removed to make way for the new wall. These will be replaced by modern stair access points over the wall.

In order to remove the existing rock some sections of the footpath will need to be removed. Due to the limited width of the foreshore in some locations it may be unsafe to detour pedestrians.

Council will be working closely with the construction contractor to ensure that, where possible, detours will be made available.

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