A proposal to use sand dredged from Hunter and Central Coast estuaries to replenish Stockton Beach on an ongoing basis has received the backing of Labor MPs.
Under the plan a dredge would be based at Swansea but used for ongoing maintenance dredging at locations including Ettalong, The Entrance, Swansea, Karuah and Tea Gardens.
Some of the dredged sand would trucked to Stockton Beach.
In addition to providing a permanent dredging solution for Swansea Channel, the dredge would also be used to regional maintenance of coastal waterways.
Crown Lands and Roads and Maritime Services were identified as the funding source for the program.
An estimated 500,000 tonnes of sand is needed to replenish Stockton beach in the short-term.
Only 30,000 tonnes of sand dredged from Newcastle Harbour is presently dumped off the coast each year.
Swansea MP Yasmin Catley said she doubted Swansea Channel alone could provide enough sand to replenish Stockton Beach but, combined with sand dredged from along the coastline, it may be possible to develop of sustainable renourishment program.
"We need to be using sand more wisely," she said.
"The government only does reactive dredging on an ad-hoc basis, it doesn't do anything proactive."
"We need to have a coordinated maintenance program of moving sand to where it is needed."
Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp said the idea had merit.
"It certainly should be part of the mix of options that are considered for the long-term nourishment of Stockton," he said.
The Newcastle Herald previously reported that the construction of the proposed Newcastle Gas Terminal could also provide enough sand to replenish Stockton Beach.
Planning Minister Rob Stokes declared the $589 million project critical state significant infrastructure.
In a parliamentary question lodged last week Opposition local government spokesman Peter Primrose asked if sand that would be dredged from the Hunter River as part of the project would be considered as part of the state significant development process.
Mr Primrose also asked if the dredged sand would be suitable for use on Stockton Beach.
The Maritime Union of Australia said the project represented a "rare opportunity" to save Stockton beach.
The government is due to respond on November 1.
Deeper reading: Save Stockton Beach
- Former Stockton childcare centre demolished as part of works to secure foreshore
- Deputy Premier John Barilaro confirms all options are on the table for Stockton Beach
- Minister pledges to fast track City of Newcastle funding applications for Stockton
- Children urged to stay away from eroded cliffs during school holidays
- Stockton residents unite in fight of their lives to revive the beach
- Shifting sands from offshore could save Stockton beach for as little as $5 million
- Offshore dredging an option to rebuild Stockton Beach
- Engineers studied Stockton sand movement in the 1970s as part of a project to relocate Newcastle Harbour
- Our beach is broken and so are our hearts
- Watch the video: Relentless erosion closes Stockton beach
- Erosion wipes out Stockton's only childcare centre
- Community meeting told Stockton beach losing a metre a year
- Mission Australia's storm damaged Stockton early learning centre
- Childcare centre's future under cloud in erosion saga
- Childcare centre forced to close temporarily due to beach erosion threat
- Council back to drawing board over long-term solution for Stockton erosion
- Playground of Stockton's Mission Australia early learning centre set to be relocated as a result of erosion threat
- Fears childcare centre could crumble into the sea
- Stockton solution moves forward with meeting
- Garbage tip washing into the sea at Stockton
- State government handballs responsibility for Stockton beach
- 2017: Exposed mine shaft shows Stockton beach's erosion problem needs 'urgent' solution
- 2016: Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes suggests 'underground breakwall'
- 2016: Worst erosion in memory leaves Stockton beach exposed to next storm
- 2014: Dangerous erosion on Stockton Beach
- 2013: Stockton beach erosion | photos, video
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