HUSKISSON residents were made fully aware of plans to conduct works on the Huskisson Beach foreshore ahead of the Hobie 16 World Championships scheduled for January 2014, according to Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash.
Cr Gash was responding to criticism by members of the Huskisson Woollamia Community Voice, who claimed they were not informed of the works, which included the widening of the sandy track to the beach.
As reported in Friday’s South Coast Register, residents were shocked when they came upon contractors carrying out the works and forced a short halt to work while they ascertained what was going on.
They said they had not been informed and that the work had destroyed two years of dune revegetation carried out by the community.
Cr Gash issued a statement on Monday, saying council staff had taken a number of steps to ensure local residents were both aware and able to have their say on the Hobie 16 World Championships development application during its public exhibition period.
“I have been left slightly concerned at a number of reports in the local media stating that council failed to engage with Huskisson residents prior to the commencement of the recent foreshore works,” she said.
“Upon receipt of the DA, council staff wrote letters, outlining the proposal and calling for submissions, to nearly 640 local property owners as well as members of the Huskisson and Woollamia Community Voice community consultative body.
“Further to this, advertising was placed in the local press while the DA and supporting reports were all made available for viewing on council’s website.
“Council received six submissions as a result of this process, including one from the Huskisson and Woollamia Community Voice CCB.
“The majority of the respondents demonstrated an understanding of the proposed foreshore works, referencing them as part of the submission.”
Cr Gash said council’s Natural Resources Section had been consulted as part of the DA process and had been satisfied with the range of works.
The same staff members have inspected the area following the recent works and have found the works to have been completed in an environmentally sensitive manner with little disturbance to the natural beauty of that section of the beach, the statement said.
“I’m more than happy with the level of engagement council staff undertook prior to these works and the subsequent way in which the project has been carried out,” she said.
“The improved access to the beach will not only benefit the upcoming Hobie 16 World Championships but also local beach goers in travelling from the pedestrian path to the beach in the future.”