AU Dune decay class action threatened
Property Here - Tuesday, May 28, 2013
GOLD Coast beachfront property owners have accused the city council and State Government of abandoning them to the sea, and are threatening a legal class action as severe erosion gouges away their properties.
For the second time this year, big swells and high tides have stripped away millions of tonnes of sand from the Glitter Strip's beaches, leaving some oceanfront homes teetering on the brink of steep cliffs.
Beach stairs and viewing platforms have collapsed into the ocean, and sand the council spent tens of thousands of dollars replenishing after ex-Cyclone Oswald battered the coast in January has been washed away.
That erosion was described as the worst the Coast has seen in 40 years but locals say even more sand is now disappearing.
Businessman Terry Taylor said he and fellow residents of a Mermaid Beach unit complex had been forced to spend thousands of dollars sandbagging the property to protect it from voracious erosion.
Mr Taylor said the council and State Government had refused to help, even though the beach was a "public asset''.
"We're starting to get worried. It's affecting us - one of the ladies that lives here has been in tears,'' he said.
"I'll have to keep sandbagging because the council has it's head in the sand and has made it clear they're not going to help us. Is it going to take a home to fall into the sea before they act? Or will it take a class action?''
Mr Taylor said beachfront residents were seen as wealthy people who should pay their own way. But he said many had already outlaid tens of thousands of dollars on boulder walls because the council and government would not pay.
"I pay nearly $60,000 a year in rates and have got nothing out of it,'' he said.
Mr Taylor said while the council had repaired Surfers Paradise beach in time for Easter, it had done "nothing'' to restore badly eroded Mermaid and Nobby beaches.
He said the land value of his unit block had slumped from $19.8 million to $9.8 million.
"When you've got yards slipping into the sea, people are scared (of buying beachfront property),'' he said.
One long-time Albatross Ave resident, who is trying to sell her property, said she was worried the erosion would affect her property values.
"With the amount of rates we pay, the council should be doing something,'' she said.
The council has asked the State Government for half the estimated $30 million cost of a long-term erosion solution but the plea has so far fallen on deaf ears.
Read more: http://www.news.com.au/realestate/news/dune-decay-class-action-threatened/story-fndbalka-1226651930263#ixzz2UbCq542j