Watching their lives slip away in Port Macquarie


Council is considering 13 options. The outcome  residents fear most is a “reactive management response” where council would cut services such as sewerage and water to the beachside properties,  effectively making  the properties uninhabitable.

There is no provision for financial compensation under this option _ and residents would be responsible for having their properties demolished.

Mrs Secombe said if the council chose to evict them from their homes, it would strip them of their  future.
“We would be  desperate. We’re just pensioners and we don’t have much,” Mrs Secombe said.

Other options up for consideration include building sea walls and artificial reefs, or dredging Lake Cathie and pumping sand on to the eroding beach.

Lake Cathie Coastal Resident’s Group spokesman Stephen Hunt said it was “bewildering” to think the council could even consider allowing  erosion to get so close that people would have to abandon their houses.

“There are plenty of other options such as building a sea wall, dredging part of the lake. It would be devastating if they didn’t try that,” Mr Hunt said.

Port Macquarie MP Peter Besseling said beach erosion was a problem right along the NSW coastline and needed to be tackled by all levels of government.

“This is a time-lapse tsunami, it’s a natural disaster over time,” he said.

Council development director Matt Rogers said no decision would be made until after submissions closed on October 7, but said forcing people to vacate their houses as erosion took over “is not council’s preferred option”.

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