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’Don’t strip Grange’s sand to save West Beach’



During public meetings late last month, the Department for Environment and Water revealed plans to take sand from Grange every year for at least the next 20 years, which is the expected lifetime of the pipeline.Engineering works involve an excavator, rotating trommel to sieve sand, conveyor belt, diesel generator and pumping station in the dunes, at a site which residents say is within 40m of houses. Robyn Ravalico, of Grange, said she was “shocked and devastated … after having known nothing of it” “My concern is about ruining Grange beach,” she said. “If they’re going to strip the beach of its sand, it’s going to be an environmental and economic disaster.”Ms Ravalico fears the dunes will be gradually eroded to the point of collapse and the beach will be stripped down to the black smelly sand beneath the surface. Along with the noise of machinery, she said the process of sand mining would be really off-putting for beachgoers and “families will be worried about their children”.Her neighbour, Nicole Bulmer, said staff from the department agreed Terminus St may not be the best location for the pumping station but it was the most convenient due to access and electricity supply. “Terminus St is the gateway for beachgoers to head down to the beach, with the carpark and the train station right at the doorstep,” she said. “With the surf life saving club also there, families know it is a safe place to swim. Many people walk their dogs and children play down on the beach at the end of Terminus St all year round. “This is no place for heavy machinery and downright dangerous and this is to be going on for the next 25 years.”Concerned residents have set up a Facebook group, Friends of Grange Beach and Tennyson, which claims that the department “plans to mine around 30,000 to 40,000 cubic metres of sand from their beach every year for the 20+ year life of the proposed pipeline”. The project manager for Securing the Future of our Coastline, James Guy, said any figures discussed at the meetings were “purely hypothetical”.“Annual survey data will determine how much sand has been moved northwards out of West Beach and this will be the amount of sand that will be recycled back from beaches further to the north using the proposed pipeline,” he said.Opposition environment spokeswoman Susan Close has pledged to halt the sand pipeline construction if Labor wins government and “run a proper environmental study on less damaging options, legislate for environmental impact assessment for sand management, and accelerate getting quarry sand on to West Beach”.

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