Collingwood Beach dune issue faces next stage

Caroline Prentice and Hilton Sinclair want the vegetation on Collingwood Beach saved so everyone can enjoy it.

Caroline Prentice and Hilton Sinclair want the vegetation on Collingwood Beach saved so everyone can enjoy it.

The battle to protect the dune along Vincentia’s Collingwood Beach has created much debate and heartache over the years.

Clumps of dead, believed to be poisoned vegetation, are visible like scars along this important community and environmental asset.

Shoalhaven City Council’s (SCC) tree vandalism signs have not been effective in deterring offenders from committing further damage.

Council, as a result, decided to move towards a more collaborative approach to manage the dune vegetation/vandalism issue and organised a forum at Collingwood Beach with the view to establishing a reference group, which it did.

The aim of the reference group was to develop a set of recommendations to help guide the restoration and future management of the Collingwood Beach dune vegetation system and allow people to make comment on the matter and put in a submission.

Vincentia residents Caroline Prentice and Hilton Sinclair will be taking part in the submission process and want everyone in community to also have a say.

Both Ms Prentice and Mr Sinclair don’t want dwell on past but want to focus on the future and help protect what they see an an important asset for everyone living in the Shoalhaven.

“We obviously fell in love with the area because of the beauty of the trees,” Ms  Prentice said.

“No matter which side of the fence you are on - pro view or pro trees - the fact is sand dune stability is the big issue.”

Go to www.shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au, head to the documents on exhibition section to have your say before the close on business on Wednesday October 19.

The issue was also raised in State Parliament recently with a motion moved calling on the new Shoalhaven City Council to support the community campaign to protect the vegetation.

Greens MP and spokesperson for the South Coast, Justin Field, gave notice of the motion on Tuesday, asking the Legislative Council to support the community campaign to protect the existing dune vegetation and calling on the new council to head that campaign.

“We are facing rising sea levels and increased frequency and intensity of storms as a result of global warming. Dunes are essential to reducing the impact of these changes on our foreshores and on public and private property,” Mr Field said.

“They (dunes) are a community asset that deserves protection and the NSW Parliament is watching this decision carefully.”.  

Mr Sinclair and Ms Prentice will feature in an extended story in Wednesday's South Coast Register.

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