Newcastle council will begin installing 1100 rock-filled bags as part of a temporary shoreline protection structure at Stockton from Monday, but a long-term solution to the beach's erosion woes is yet to be secured.
While the council will take the next step in the battle to save the northern Newcastle suburb, documents obtained by Labor under freedom of information laws show the state government has allocated less than half of its $72.6 million fund set up to address coastal erosion.
Little more than $38 million has been handed out under the state's Coastal and Estuary Grants Program, established in 2016 to help councils battle erosion like that at Stockton.
Newcastle, Port Stephens and Mid Coast councils are among dozens around the state denied cash over recent years, the documents show.
"Grant applications rejected by the NSW government to date include funding emergency protection and stabilisation works along the Stockton coast, [and] ongoing civil works aimed at protecting private and public property," she said.
The council has received grants totalling $1.86 million from the program and is awaiting a determination on a $193,000 application.
A spokeswoman for NSW Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock said more applications and grants flowed after changes in the 2020-21 financial year.
The council is continuing work on its latest Coastal Management Program, which will build on the actions outlined in the 2020 version headlined by mass sand nourishment.
A spokesperson said the council was "currently assessing the feasibility" of four coastal management schemes "to prolong the benefit of mass sand nourishment" once the sand arrives, including maintenance nourishment, an artificial headland, reef or sand back passing.
"The installation of a temporary rock bag structure on the beach at Barrie Crescent will begin on Monday using 1,100 'Kyowa Bags', which will predominantly replace the sandbags that have been in place and provide a buffer until such time as mass sand nourishment is achieve," the spokesperson said.
The state government conducted an underwater survey in search for suitable sand in March. A spokesperson for NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said that data was "still being analysed".
"When the report is finalised, it will be used to help inform the next steps in restoring Stockton Beach," the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, the Anna Bay entrance to Worimi Conservation Lands will be closed until Friday, May 28 while it undergoes an upgrade.
Beach driving between the Gan Gan Road entrance and Lavis Lane is also prohibited in both directions until Monday at the earliest as dune restoration work takes place.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service will review the closure then. Access is available via Lavis Lane.
"We are repairing the frontal dune, which provides an important natural barrier to protect the park's cultural sites and values from large ocean swell and storm events and will also formalise the vehicle crossing onto the beach over the frontal dune," Worimi Conservation Lands chair Jamie Tarrant said.
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