Coastal management review seeks input from residents

Rather than just look into the issues involved with dune management at Jones and Werri beaches, as was first proposed, Council is undertaking a systematic, extensive review of the entire LGA coastline, from Minnamurra to Seven Mile Beach.

“The whole process is detailed in the State Government’s Coastal Management Manual, which aligns directly with managing the coastal environment in a manner consistent with the objectives of the Coastal Management Act,” says Bryon Robinson, Council’s Environmental and Sustainability Officer.

“The first stage our consultants are embarking on now is developing the scoping study for the Coastal Management Program (CMP).

“As part of that we are looking for community input on any issues they have, as well as any information they can give to help the consultants understand what has happened in the past and how the community use and value the coast.”

Council has arranged a series of drop-in sessions and an on-line survey to gather this input. The drop-in sessions are being held at three locations, but are not site specific or structured so residents are encouraged to attend any of them. Council is particularly interested if people have pictures of the impact of previous storms on coastal landforms or infrastructure.

“At the end of the process we will be able to develop a CMP to assist with the coordinated management of the coastal zone in terms of recreational use, amenity, cultural value and environmental issues, as well as managing hazards and risks,” says Mr Robinson.

The latter includes consideration of current and future risks from coastal hazards in the context of predicted climate change effects.

“The CMP will provide the science based analysis that Council and the community needs to make decisions on how to proceed and prioritise management issues in the short, medium and long term in the coastal zone.

“It will identify areas at risk to certain events and suggest the best way to deal with them.”

It is the first time that Council has attempted such a wide ranging review. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

In the meantime, Jones and Werri beaches will continue to be governed by their existing Plans of Management, which specify the vegetation to be used.

Details of drop-in sessions:
Tuesday 30 July, Werri Beach Progress Hall, 2.30-5.30pm
Wednesday 31 July, Kiama Downs Surf Life Saving Club, 10-1pm
Wednesday 31 July, Kiama Farmers’ Market, 2-5pm

The survey is available from Council’s website or directly at www.survey.zohopublic.com/zs/sYCN69

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