The majority of residential and commercial development at Wooli is located along a narrow sand spit
I know I’m maligning the historical figure of Canute by playing to the error that he really did try to turn back the ocean, but that myth perfectly fits the Nationals Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker who is trying to make political capital out of the woes of residents in the coastal village of Wooli on the NSW North Coast by promising the impossible.
This is his effort recorded in Hansard on 16 November 2010:
Another important issue I raise relates to the future of the village of Wooli in the Cowper electorate. Wooli is a small coastal community of a few hundred people, and it is confronting the challenges of sand erosion. After years of erosion, many houses are potentially under threat. The Clarence Valley Council has released a draft plan of management which proposes a progressive retreat from the site of the original village. The plan tables the option of allowing landowners in the foreshore area to swap properties for crown land near the Wooli sportsground. This proposal is causing grief in the Wooli community. I recently met with Bruce Bird from the Wooli Chamber of Commerce and Margy Hewetson to discuss their concerns. They highlighted to me how important it is that every effort be made to protect these threatened properties and retain the current village precinct.
and this is what he said to the national media:
Will not let people’s homes fall into the ocean? How on earth does he expect to stop the relentless wave action erosion process and effects of storm surges, when at their basis are the increasing impacts of climate change?
Mr. Hartsuyker would be more believable if he had ever confronted his party and leader over the total lack of support for any legislative change which would effectively mitigate against global warming over time. According to Hartsuyker, his party’s lack of support is a win for regional Australia.
Elsewhere in the local media this wordy MP expressing dissatisfaction with the degree of hydraulic modelling applied to the problem – cheerfully ignoring Clarence Valley Council’s own commissioned 2010 Wooli Beach / Village Review of Coastal Hazards and the 2007 CSIRO study Projected Changes In Climatological Forcing which specifically looked at modelling for Wooli.
The sad fact of the matter is that Wooli primarily built its houses on a thin strip of sand between two tidal bodies of water with predictable results.Google Earth image of Wooli with a 1 metre predicted sea-level rise
From North Coast Voices in 2007: Clarence Valley Council admits there is little that can be done for property owners in the face of 'inevitable' coastal erosion