TWO points regarding the comments of council’s director of development and environmental services Matt Rogers about the costs of the Lake Cathie revetment (Port News, July 27).

1. Council received a record 4652 submissions during the exhibition of options to address the damage a really major storm may cause to Illaroo Road and the homes along it.

From council’s figures, 99.4 per cent recommended the permanent protection the revetment will ensure.

The biggest reason given was to save Illaroo Road itself.

Illaroo Road provides the only close-up view of ocean and beach for 10km either side of Lake Cathie and, yearround, locals and visitors walk, cycle or drive the circuit around the estuary and along Illaroo Road.

Thus, a major flaw in the exhibited study was that it attributed no public value to Illaroo Road.

Contribution from federal, state and local governments to the $3 million to construct the revetment is justified on public benefit grounds alone.

We look forward to collaborating with council in establishing this in Canberra and Sydney.

2. Another major flaw in the study was the estimate of $80,000 annually to renourish the beach, the major part of the $100,000 quoted by Mrq Rogers.

Council’s Dredging Strategy 2007 includes the Lake Cathie estuary, and states that to “do nothing is not an option”.

The extracted sand will be pumped to the beach in front of Illaroo Road, whether or not there’s a revetment there.

When pressed, Mr Rogers agreed this sand won’t have to be paid for twice.

Submissions, including from experts, picked up this “double counting” in the study.

Experts also concluded that no re-nourishment at all is likely to be required.

So, in terms of initial and ongoing expense, the public benefit alone of the Lake Cathie revetment far outweighs its cost.

Paul Flemming convener, Lake Cathie Coastal Residents Group

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