RUBBISH: Ray and Robyn McMillan cleaning up on Wednesday. Picture: SuppliedOne of Kiama’s best-loved beaches now has a Landcare group of its own.
Nanjing Night Net

Jones Beach Landcare has been formedto manage the popular coastal strip.

Co-ordinator Mark Hume said the group was being formed to work on the sand dune and beach areas.

“The priorities at this stage are to remove rubbish and weeds from the dune area of the beach, starting around the Kiama Downs Surf Club,” Mr Hume said.

“We’d love to get help from people who have an interest in cleaning up the Jones Beach area and can spare a few hours once or twice a month.”

Kiama council’s director of engineering and worksGino Belsitosaid council was supporting the new group as part of its long-term plans for Jones Beach.

“We are providing logistical support such as helping dispose of the rubbish, weeds and dead vegetation that they will be removing,” Mr Belsito said.

Residents interested in joining the group should contact Mr Hume on 0417 299 209.

Meanwhile, the Kiama Greens have questioned Beach Care Kiama’s (a separate entity to theLandcare group)claims regarding modification of Jones Beach’sdune structure and vegetation and the impact of sand dune vegetation on beach safety.

The Greens claim that while storm damage can leave a beach less usablefor surfers and swimmers until it repairs itself over time,“that is not a reason toremove vegetation anddunes to create a perfect flat sandy surf beach”.

“It’s important to understand the role this vegetation plays in protecting residents’homes and providing ecosystem services,” Warren Holder, spokesperson for Kiama Greens said.

“Reforming the dune by removing vegetation at the front of the scarped dune at Jones Beach to reinstate low growing spinifex…could change the dune structure and contribute to dune retreat.

“It would be wiser to replant these grasses when this area re-establishes itselfnaturally.”

Kiama councillor Mark Way, a long-time resident who has been surfing at Jones Beach since the 1970s, said he wished to return the beach to its “glory days” of“a wide, open beach”.

“What we need to do there is really put the right sort of vegetation in. There’s been a lot of inappropriate planting which has led to a virtual jungle that is marching down the beach.

“Some of the coastal wattles that have been planted there just don’t do it these days.The hardcore Greens are quite irrational in saying we want to get rid of all the vegetation, and it’s just not on. It’s just a matter of having the right sort of vegetation there.”

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