King tides threaten to inundate residents of Midge Point
AS THE beach disappeared under today's king tide, Midge Point residents are bracing for more erosion tomorrow when another big tide and strong onshore winds are set to align.
This morning waves created by a fresh north east onshore wind eroded the levee - created in response to the severe beach erosion during Cyclone Debbie - above the high water mark and a strong sweep to the southern end of the beach could be observed removing sand from the beach.
Before Cyclone Debbie touched down in March last year the Midge Point Progress Association won a fight with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection to keep unauthorised sand dune stabilisation fabric in place.
However the geo-fabric matting which had been effective in reducing erosion was swept away by the Category 4 storm 10 months ago.
Now residents are left with a temporary and unsatisfactory levee as their last line of defence against flooding.
Midge Point Progress Association president Navio Zeglio was on the beach today to see what the expected 6.54 metre tide would do.
He said if the rising tide breached the levee it had a down hill run to the houses on Nielsen Parade.
"It all depends on the breeze you have got behind you. If we get a six and half metre tide and 40 knot winds behind it that is going to build that tide up to 7.9 metres," he said.
"All the sand that has been pushed up along the beach will turn into a sheer (cliff) and get taken away.
"And that's a concern."
Mr Zeglio said there had been Category D funding earmarked to mitigate against erosion in the wake of Cyclone Debbie but there had been no spending at Midge Point by the Mackay Regional Council yet.
Councillor Kevin Casey of the Mackay Regional Council from on the ground at Midge Point today said there was Federal Category D money available however not enough to complete the scale of works preferred by council.
"We want to do betterment. If we just push sand back up the same thing is going to happen over and over again," he said.
"At this stage we are still looking to do sand pushing but it is all tied up with the QRRA and NDRRA funding, we are at the bottom end of the chain.
"There is some money there but it is nowhere near enough to do what we want to do."
Cr Casey said Midge Point beach was one of 32 in the Mackay Regional Council area with many facing the same issues as Midge Point.
Mr Zeglio said he felt work at Midge Point had not been prioritised by council.
"We were told by the mayor himself after the cyclone that Midge Point would be a priority," he said.
"I don't know what we can do about it."
In September last year the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection threatened to fine the progress association $1.7 million unless the geo-fabric used to stop erosion was removed.
Since then Mr Zeglio said the progress association will be thinking twice before taking matters into their own hands.
A long term solution in the form of a rock sea wall or permanent sand bags was needed at the Midge Point foreshore.