ERODED: The value of our coastal areas, now and in the future, is too important to ignore. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Australia: Stockton beach represents the failure of governments to deal with impact of coastal development (Opinion)

The Stockton beach I remember was a beautiful beach despite the debris of a busy trading port. The "world class" Coastal Management Act, now fully operational, is flawed and hopeless when it comes to dealing with the erosion and destruction of Stockton beach.

My family fondly remembers weekends at Stockton beach staying in the onsite van I used for accommodation while working on a blast furnace shutdown. They looked forward to Stockton beach each Friday as they made the trek from Sydney's West.

Today Stockton beach is an environmental disaster with stretches of rock seawalls and a badly eroded dune system with a steep escarpment.

Further north, there is the disgusting mess of an old tip spewing the garbage of previous generations onto one of the most beautiful beaches you could ever find.

Stockton beach is representative of the failure of successive federal and state governments to deal with the legacy of coastal development. They refuse to take responsibility for what is a state and national issue, but reap the royalties and taxes of our coastal zone.

Instead, the entire responsibility is laid on regional coastal communities such as Stockton.

On May 31, 2016, the NSW state coalition government announced "one of the most innovative pieces of coastal planning legislation in the world today".

Within days a coastal storm damaged homes on Collaroy beach and ripped open the dune system of Wamberal beach.

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