A NSW council wants the state government to declare a natural disaster after powerful surf damaged properties at Wamberal, on the central coast, leaving some on the brink of collapse.
Several houses on Ocean View Drive are at risk of being pulled into the sea after last week’s wild weather caused massive coastal erosion.
Residents of up to 30 of the multi-million dollar buildings have been told evacuate because of the danger.
Central Coast Council held an emergency meeting on Monday night before calling on the NSW government to declare the area a natural disaster.
“This would enable affected residents to seek assistance and support to recover, while council would be able to access funds to repair infrastructure impacted by the storms,” it said in a statement.
The council also said that for the next four weeks it would eschew taking “regulatory action” against residents trying to reinforce or buttress their sinking homes, so long as those measures don’t significantly “impact on other properties or land”.
Wamberal Protection Society vice president Margaret Bryce has said the damage is worse than in 2016 when a severe weather event caused erosion along the coastline.
Angry residents have blamed the council for “dragging their feet” on building a seawall to protect beachfront homes and the coastline from pounding seas.
“This is a not a time for blaming each other – it is a time for us to work together to deliver long-term solutions for the Coast, including for those who have been so terribly impacted by this event,” Mayor Lisa Matthews said in a statement.
Meanwhile, an Emergency Operations Centre has been set up as a base for NSW State Emergency Service, NSW Police, council and government agencies responding to the crisis.
The issue is also affecting nearby residents of The Entrance North, who will be briefed on the situation at 7pm Tuesday.