Valuable sand that could be used to replenish Stockton beach continues to be dumped at sea because of a bureaucratic impasse that remains unresolved a year after it was identified.
The Port of Newcastle's dredge, the David Allan, had been depositing about 30,000 cubic metres of sand annually from harbour maintenance just off Stockton.
Under the new legislation, only "public authorities" are allowed to dump sand off the coast for renourishment purposes.
Former deputy premier Paul Toole described the situation in January as "ridiculous" and vowed to fix the impasse but failed to do so.
The issue was raised at Thursday's Stockton Taskforce meeting.
"This (Labor) government is working very hard to get those approvals back and to get that process moving again," Newcastle MP and minister for the Hunter Tim Crakanthorp said following the meeting.
The port confirmed on Friday it was keen to resume assisting with the renourishment process.
"Suitable sand obtained from the David Allan dredger is not yet able to recommence placement on Stockton beach, as a public authority is yet to provide the authorisation required to Port of Newcastle. The Port is happy to recommence this service as soon as approval is received, which will result in approximately 30,000 cubic metres of sand placed annually on Stockton beach," a port spokesman said.
In a separate development, Stockton Taskforce chairwoman and minister for Regional NSW, Tara Moriarty announced about 100,000 cubic metres of sand would be sourced from Newcastle's harbour entrance as quickly as possible for the short-term renourishment.
The Department of Regional NSW and NSW Public Works will coordinate and deliver the works funded by a $6.2 million grant awarded to the NSW government last October.
"I acknowledge the frustration of the community. This is an issue that has stalled and has not been properly dealt with for many, many years. Our new government is very focused on making sure that our plans to rectify the beach are going to be delivered in very quick time," she said.
Public Works - which is managing the short-term dredging sand renourishment project - has identified a site in the navigation channel beyond the break wall entrance which could be accessed within the existing Port of Newcastle dredging approvals.
Tenders for dredging and sand placement closed this month. A contract is expected to be awarded in September, with works to commence after the necessary approvals for sand placement are in place.
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