Department of Industry investigating Anna Bay Resort owner after unapproved barbed wire fence installed

An Anna Bay resort developer is being investigated over a barbed wire fence which was erected earlier this year adjacent to the busy 4WD entrance to the Stockton sand dunes.

Residents claim the waist-high fencing, which covers approximately two football fields, is a potential danger to both children and animals.

And just last week a section of the fencing was cut in two leaving strands of the barbed wire dangling across the sand.

A spokesperson for the Department of Industry – Lands and Water confirmed that the owner had not received permission from the department to erect the fence.

“The department has previously held discussions with the Anna Bay Resort owner concerning the fence and will investigate this issue as a priority,” the spokesperson said.

Telephone and email messages to Anna Bay Resort developer representatives were not returned to the Examiner at the time of publication on Tuesday.

Anna Bay resident Simone Aurino was left mystified as to why the barbed wire fencing was erected in the first place with no signage.

“The community and visitors have a right to feel safe,” she said. “The fencing is potentially a danger to wildlife as well as visitors not familiar with the area. Who would be responsible if a young child gets caught up and injured in the barbed wire?”

Roz Scoles from the South Tomaree Community Association said the cutting of the barbed wire posed serious concerns for people’s safety.

A Port Stephens Council spokesperson said that the fence was located on privately owned land and was not responsible in maintaining it.

“Council’s environmental health and compliance team will investigate this matter further,” the spokesperson said.

Cr Sarah Smith said she would be trying to organise a meeting with the owner next week.

State MP Kate Washington said the fencing was dangerous and that someone should take responsibility for making it safe, “particularly given the very real risk of children being hurt badly”.