RESIDENTS along Illaroo Road have made it clear to Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to consider alternative funding options for a rock revetment wall.
The option put to residents proposes they fund 80 per cent of the cost of the revetment wall, despite the fact council owns 60 per cent of the public assets along the coastal zone.
The public assets impacted by coastal hazards are identified in the latest report as car parks, electricity assets, parks and reserves, roads, road reserves, sewers, stormwater and water mains.
Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams attended a community meeting with residents and council staff and said it is time to shelve the funding option put forward in Marsden Jacob's cost benefit analysis, and seek out alternative solutions.
The revetment wall would provide protection to 41 properties as well as public assets managed by council.
The cost benefit analysis included specific details to some residents about the cost apportioned to their property and their willingness and capacity to pay for the project.
Those costs per property ranged up to $1 million.
Council CEO Dr Clare Allen said no decision has been made on how the revetment wall will be funded.
"If you determine through your feedback that you do not think it is appropriate to make a contribution, or not a contribution, you need to put that case forward," Dr Allen said.
"There is only a certain amount of money in terms of coastal management that goes around. The amount of money we can access for this is fairly limited.
"If we go through this process and we determine there isn't any funding available because we can't get that funding match, we go to another funding round.
"We are not just sitting on our hands and not looking at all avenues to get as much funding as we possibly can for this. If we get no funding, then it needs to be put to council and its up to you to go to your elected members and raise your case moving forward."
The Coastal and Estuary Grants stream is the preferred funding pool for this project.
Council also pointed out there were several other state government "identified hot spots" grappling with the issue of coastal erosion. These included Stockton Beach, Wamberal Beach, Old Bar Beach, Collaroy, Belongil and Byron Bay main beach.
Dr Allen acknowledged letters residents received from council did cause some "angst", but said it is an important part of the process to seek out funding options.
Blayne West, natural resource manager, said the rock revetment wall will not be built until the appropriate funding is in place.
"We acknowledge there is a hazard and we will continue to manage that hazard," Ms West said.
The meeting heard that in 2007, community consultation showed that most residents supported the construction of a rock revetment wall with sand nourishment as the preferred option for intervention at the coastal erosion site.
Council fielded numerous questions about funding responsibilities and council management of public assets and the potential for residents to invest in a solution that may not work, or cause further erosion at the wall's end points.
Council is now seeking formal feedback from residents by April 12 before a report is presented to the May ordinary council meeting.
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