Council urged to extend geotubes further 300m to the east

Geotubes protecting one end of the sand dunes at Ocean Beach from erosion should be extended, St...
Geotubes protecting one end of the sand dunes at Ocean Beach from erosion should be extended, St Clair resident Bill Brown says. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery.
The Dunedin City Council is being urged to do more to protect South Dunedin’s sand dunes from coastal erosion.

St Clair resident Bill Brown, who has been petitioning the council on the issue since 2015, made the call at a public forum at the start of Monday’s infrastructure services and networks committee meeting.

Mr Brown told the meeting the council should be congratulated for investing in new "geotubes" to protect sand dunes between St Clair and St Kilda beaches.

However, the protection did not go far enough, as the tubes  extended only halfway along the dunes, he said.

That left the dunes’ eastern face exposed, and more erosion could be expected over the coming months, he warned.

"My strong suggestion is if you leave the balance part, it’s a bit like putting a piece of plaster over half a wound," he said. 

"Who would want to take the risk?"

The geotextile bags were added last year as a replacement for sand sausages that were damaged by storms in 2015.

Mr Brown said the new geotubes needed to be extended another 300m to the east to adequately protect the dunes.

That would push the "end wall effect" of erosion at the end of the tubes further east as well, away from the most vulnerable part of the dunes, he said.

Instead of attacking the dunes in the area with the narrowest defences between the coast, Victoria Rd and residential houses, the erosion would be pushed into a wider section of Ocean Beach domain, where there was more of a buffer, he said.

The area would also be more accessible when emergency measures were needed in future, he said.

Committee chairwoman Cr Kate Wilson, speaking after the meeting, said Mr Brown’s concerns had been considered before and would be again.

"We will continue to assess his concerns along with staff recommendations and the expert evidence that we have," she said.

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