What is the draft Whartons Creek Entrance Management Plan about?

The draft Entrance Management Plan for Whartons Creek addresses the steps that Council will take to prevent and manage periodic northerly breakout of Whartons Creek along Bulli Beach.

The draft Entrance Management Study and Plan includes a range of management options. It also identifies a preferred management approach, and the necessary steps to implement the preferred management approach.


Where is Whartons Creek Entrance?

The entrance of Whartons Creek is located on Bulli Beach, 150m south of the Bulli Surf Life Saving Club. 


Whartons Creek periodically opens to the north along the beach. This creates steep scarps along the dunes and erodes the back beach area, which impacts on beach amenity and safe access to the beach. 


How does Council currently handle creek breakouts?

When a northerly breakout causing erosion has occurred in the past, Council’s approach has been to redirect the channel to the east. This is done by excavating sand from the closed entrance and then depositing and grading the sand at different beach access points in order to ensure ongoing safe beach access. 

What are the options for managing Whartons Creek Entrance?

The draft Plan has identified 7 options, which are:

1.  Do nothing.

2.  When a northerly breakout occurs, excavate a channel and reshape Bulli Beach by spreading the excavated sand over the beach to fill the northern scour channel.

3.  Periodically build up the north side of the entrance by using machinery to move sand from the beach, south of the entrance, to the mount on the northern entrance bank.

4.  Maintain a low beach berm by using machinery to move sand from the berm at the creek mouth so that it stays at a lower height than the surrounding beach.

5.  Use machinery before a major rainfall event to excavate a dry notch in the berm, so that the breakout is directed east/southeast direction.

6.  Extend the northern training wall to the berm crest using sand-filled Geotech bags.

7. Extend the northern training wall to the berm crest by using a rock rip-rap training wall.

Why do we need a Management Plan for the Whartons Creek Entrance?

Currently, each time Council needs to manage the breakouts, it must first obtain a short term licence from the Department of Primary Industries to conduct works. In order to hold a long-term licence Council must create and adopt an Entrance Management Plan. The benefit of such a plan is to identify an ongoing approach, covered by a long-term licence, to manage the entrance to prevent erosion of the back beach area.

The development of the Entrance Management Plan was identified as a priority in Council’s Dune Management Strategy Implementation Plan, 2014. Adoption of the plan also contributes to the delivery of Wollongong 2022 goal “We value and protect our environment”. 


What is the preferred management option identified in the draft Entrance Management Plan?

As part of the consultation process, we have held stakeholder workshops about each of the options. These workshops have assessed each option with regard to costs and effectiveness. Concerns were raised about installing a training wall extension, such as:

·  Maintenance costs related to storm damage

·  Impact of a wall extension structure

·  Impact of future planned dune reshaping

Due to these concerns, Council’s preferred option is Number 3, which involves excavation and moving sand to the north side of the creek. The process can be triggered by a simple procedure, and also easily implemented by the City Works staff when cleaning the Bulli pools.

No matter which option is decided upon, a review process will take place after three years in order to assess costs, impacts and long-term effectiveness. 


How can I have my say?

The easiest way to provide your feedback on the draft Whartons Creek Entrance Management Plan is to complete a feedback form available on this website, or from Wollongong or Thirroul libraries or Bulli Tourist Park.

For further questions please call 4227 7111 or email engagement@wollongong.nsw.gov.au