Ve­hi­cles bogged in soft sand a big headache for SES and NPWS

The Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE - TIM HOWARD tim.howard@dai­lyex­am­


A BUILD-UP of soft sand on Wooli Beach, which caused an ex­ces­sive num­ber of res­cues on the week­end, has prompted the clo­sure of the beach to ve­hi­cles.

SES and Na­tional Parks & Wildlife Ser­vice closed the beach on Satur­day in the in­ter­ests of pub­lic safety and pro­tec­tion of their ve­hi­cles, af­ter sev­eral were dam­aged res­cu­ing ve­hi­cles on the beach.

The au­thor­i­ties said weather con­di­tions had led to an ac­cu­mu­la­tion of sand, which was new and very soft.

They pre­dicted the clo­sure would be re­quired for two to three weeks to al­low time for the sand to set­tle and com­pact nat­u­rally.

Sig­nage in­form­ing of clo­sure has been placed at the ra­di­a­tion zone trail and the east­ern ex­ten­sion of Williams Cres­cent, the in­ter­sec­tion of Dig­ger Camp Rd and the beach ac­cess, and at both ac­cesses lo­cated south of Wooli Vil­lage on South Ter­race.

A Clarence Val­ley Coun­cil spokesman has urged 4WD users to abide by the clo­sure as pre­vi­ous ve­hi­cle res­cue in­ci­dents had re­sulted in dam­age to the res­cue ve­hi­cles.

SES Wooli unit con­troller Bruce Bird told the ABC the re­cent build-up of new and soft sand on the beach had led to ve­hi­cles be­com­ing dan­ger­ously bogged.

“The sand has been brought back through the wave ac­tion fol­low­ing the east coast lows and the other wave ac­tion from highs, and the rough surf that ac­tu­ally took away the top sand,” he said.

“That’s now been re­turned with a fair bit of bonus on top. It’s re­ally soft and has not set­tled. Just the ac­tion of turn­ing a ve­hi­cle around is mean­ing they are get­ting bogged.”

The beach is closed to all ve­hi­cles from the sea wall right through to Wil­son’s head­land.

The de­posit of sand on the beach has be­gun re­plac­ing ma­te­rial stripped from the beach in re­cent storms.

Wooli res­i­dents had reached an agree­ment with Clarence Val­ley Coun­cil to use ma­chines to scrape sand from lower sec­tions of the beach to pro­tect the dune sys­tem. It’s too early to say if this sand dump in­di­cates an end to the threat of coastal ero­sion.

Photo: Cait­lan Charles

ERO­SION: One Tree-Wooli Beach af­ter the last weather event to hit the Clarence Val­ley.

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