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Home arrow Other Coastlines arrow Outside NZ arrow Ocean glimpses Old Bar Beach residents near Taree fear
Ocean glimpses Old Bar Beach residents near Taree fear PDF Print
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Other Coastlines - Outside NZ
Written by Justin Vallejo, The Daily Telegraph   
Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Sea swallowing their home ... Ross Keys, wife Kylee and their kids Rikki, 17, and Dayle, 14 at their Old Bar Beach house on the NSW mid-North Coast. Picture: Greg Cutler

THERE have never been "ocean glimpses" quite like these before.

While demolition crews are tearing down a house with its master bedroom hanging over a cliff edge, one family is fighting to save their home from being washed away by rising sea levels and wild weather.

"Idyllic lifestyle my arse," Ross Keys said yesterday. "Ocean views are better but at what cost? We don't even open the curtains anymore - it's not a happy sight."

The view outside their window has gone from a backyard measuring 27m in length with flower beds and a lawn big enough for backyard footy, to a crumbling 4m strip of dead grass with black irrigation pipes jutting out from beneath the cliff.

The Keys family owns two of three beachfront homes that are slowly being swallowed up by the sea at Old Bar Beach near Taree, on the NSW Mid North Coast, after recent storms.

The family is seeking legal advice over their rights, saying that Greater Taree Council has denied responsibility for the approval to build on the block in the 1960s.

Coastal councils in Sydney and up and down the east coast are bracing themselves for more loss of property, with Pittwater Council holding a sea level rise seminar recently for local authorities in the worst-affected areas such as Belongil Spit near Byron Bay, Campbell's Beach in Coffs Harbour, Jimmy's Beach at Port Stephens, Wamberal Beach at Terrigal and Sydney's Narrabeen and Collaroy beaches.

Mr and Mrs Keys bought their slice of beachside paradise in 2001, but within months began seeing their 5500sq m of property shrink.

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