Council adopted a Wollongong Dune Management Strategy for the Patrolled Swimming Areas of 17 Beaches in March 2014. Management options were identified to address safety and recreational amenity issues, while also considering ecological values and the role of dunes in protecting areas against coastal hazards.
Options for managing vegetation from the Dune Management Strategy were related to management of noxious and invasive weed species and management of subspecies of Acacia longifolia (Coastal Wattle).
The aim of the vegetation management work is to gradually remove weeds and dead vegetation in the dunes. And to remove Coastal Wattle where it has formed a monoculture. Depending on its location within the dune, the existing vegetation will be replaced with a diversity of appropriate native species for that management zone, selected from thePlant Species list for Dune Planting – Appendix I from the Dune Management Strategy.
The focus of this work is in the patrolled areas of the eight priority beaches. Over time, this work will extend along these beaches to improve the biodiversity of the dune vegetation and to enhance beach amenity for community members.
Council will achieve this work through a number of parties including Council’s Dune Crew, contractors and Dunecare volunteers.
Council's Dune Crew
Council’s Dune Crew works across all of Wollongong’s beaches undertaking fence and track maintenance, weed control, planting, litter removal, signage repair and installation, and emergency response following storms. We completed a condition assessment of fencing and tracks at the patrolled beaches in 2014 and areas were prioritised for maintenance. The team also treats noxious weeds such as Bitou Bush over the winter months.
Above: Before (left) and after (right) track widening work.
Above: New fence type.
Council is currently working on vegetation management works in the dunes behind the patrolled areas of Stanwell Park, Bulli, Woonona, Bellambi, Corrimal, Towradgi, Fairy Meadow and Wollongong City beaches. Existing vegetation at these beaches was mapped in 2015 to inform site plans and allow monitoring of progress.
Site plans are updated regularly and these guide dune vegetation management works at these beaches. The plans include zones for planting different species and a prioritised list of work activities. Species to be planted are being chosen from Council’s adopted planting list. You can also view photos of common local native species to be planted.
Site plans for the priority beaches are available here:
Stanwell Park Beach Dune vegetation site plan 2018.pdf
Bulli Beach Dune vegetation site plan 2018.pdf
Bellambi Beach Dune vegetation site plan 2018.pdf
Towradgi Beach Dune vegetation site plan 2018.pdf
Corrimal Beach Dune vegetation site plan 2018.pdf
Woonona Beach Dune vegetation site plan 2018.pdf
Fairy Meadow beach Dune vegetation site plan 2018.pdf
Wollongong City Beach Dune vegetation site plan 2018.pdf
Council received a grant from the NSW Government’s Coastal Management Program in 2014. This allowed a significant amount of vegetation management work to be completed to 2016. Over this time, Council contractors removed weed trees and dead vegetation. They also under pruned native trees such as Banksia and Tea Trees at the back of the dune.
This has opened up the dunes to allow access for removal of weeds, litter and dead plant material and re-planting of low growing grasses and shrubs. Bush regeneration contractors then undertook primary weeding and some re-planting. Vegetation management works to improve the condition of dune vegetation will continue into the future.
Above: (left) Before vegetation management works. (right) After removal of weed trees, dead vegetation and under pruning. Next stage is installation of low growing species in bare areas.
The Dunecare program is aimed at encouraging community participation in the management of our dune vegetation at patrolled beaches. The program establishes Dunecare groups to achieve the objectives of the Dune Management Strategy. Groups are supported by Council with supervision, training, equipment and insurance cover. I
f you are interested in being involved check out the Dunecare leaflet or call our Customer Service team on (02) 4227 7111.