Adapting Marks Point and Belmont South

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This exhibition is now closed. Thank you to everyone who made a submission. The project team are currently reviewing all feedback and will report back soon.

The need for the draft Foreshore Management Plan (FMP) was identified in the Marks Point and Belmont South Local Adaptation Plan prepared by Council and residents in 2015-16. Residents wanted clearer guidance and direction on how current issues including foreshore erosion, seagrass wrack and public amenity / access could be addressed whilst ensuring that planning projected lake level rise will still take place.

The next steps in implementing the Local Adaptation Plan and draft Foreshore Management Plan are:

  • Collating and reviewing feedback received on the draft Foreshore Management Plan in collaboration with the community working group
  • Reporting to the Lake Macquarie Coastal Zone Management Committee on the exhibition of the draft and any recommended changes to the final FMP
  • Incorporating FMP findings and recommendations into relevant Council planning instruments including the Lake Macquarie Development Control Plan and or Foreshore Management Guidelines.

Exhibition closed 8 August 2021.


This exhibition is now closed. Thank you to everyone who made a submission. The project team are currently reviewing all feedback and will report back soon.

The need for the draft Foreshore Management Plan (FMP) was identified in the Marks Point and Belmont South Local Adaptation Plan prepared by Council and residents in 2015-16. Residents wanted clearer guidance and direction on how current issues including foreshore erosion, seagrass wrack and public amenity / access could be addressed whilst ensuring that planning projected lake level rise will still take place.

The next steps in implementing the Local Adaptation Plan and draft Foreshore Management Plan are:

  • Collating and reviewing feedback received on the draft Foreshore Management Plan in collaboration with the community working group
  • Reporting to the Lake Macquarie Coastal Zone Management Committee on the exhibition of the draft and any recommended changes to the final FMP
  • Incorporating FMP findings and recommendations into relevant Council planning instruments including the Lake Macquarie Development Control Plan and or Foreshore Management Guidelines.

Exhibition closed 8 August 2021.


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    With reference to Newsletter 4 and the sea level graph on page 2 and the answer to Bob Towers question. This plot does not make any sense, as I read it Scenario 2 is a projection of the current rate of sea level rise, Scenario 1 is a computer model forecast of the extreme case. It doesn't matter what you label the y axis the common starting point should be the last point of hard data. A scenario that forecasts a sea level higher in 2014 than it actually was, is plainly silly. Actual data trumps computer forecasting every time. Without looking at the data behind this 'cartoon' that would suggest that either scenario 1 would have to be a much steeper gradient to achieve 0.9m of rise by 2100 or else the 0.9m won't be reached until significantly after 2100. More importantly it would have a significant affect on the 2050 projections, which are really the most important for home owners. An accurate presentation of the data is important.

    GrahameLindsay asked over 6 years ago

    Thank you for your question Graeme. While we did work with our Community Working Group on the newsletter and on this graph, you are correct when you point out that the graph does not show the measured data and projected trends accurately. It is designed to illustrate clearly the concept of “triggers for action” being linked to actual lake levels, whatever the
    projections. To do this the lines have been drawn as clearly separated. In fact the lines of measured-rise and modelled-rise have coincided closely over the last 20 years – at about 3mm a year - and are projected to remain fairly close for the next 20 years or so. After that, the level is projected to accelerate,
    particularly in the second half of the Century, if carbon emissions continue a high levels – showing a much steeper gradient, as you say.

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    In Newsletter 4 the graph on the last page shows 2 scenarios. Both scenarios are shown commencing in 1990. It would be informative to have the current water level marked on this graph.

    Bob Towers asked over 6 years ago

    The graph in the Newsletter shows the projected increase in lake levels since 1990, and the legend on the y-axis should read “Increase in lake level (metres)”, which is measured from a
    “0” point in 1990, as shown. Our apologies for this error.

    The average water level in the lake in 1990 was about 0.1 metres AHD, so the projected water levels in the lake are 0.5 metres AHD by about 2050, and 1.0 metre AHD by about 2100. The lines shown on the graph are a projection between these three points in time.




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    How do you raise other topics on this website? I can't find any links to start a new topic

    anonymous asked almost 8 years ago
    Thanks for your question. Our online discussion board is moderated and at this point in time has two generic topics - 'what are some ideas/options for managing the flood risk?' and 'what would a successful plan look like? Other ways to start a conversation is through this 'Ask us a question' function as these topics and questions are published on the website. Please reply with the topic you'd like to discuss or receive more information on. We appreciate your involvement. Many thanks, Kate
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    Does council remove mangroves from drain pipes that are blocked and causing run off problems if not why

    Future flood risks asked over 7 years ago

    Thank you for your question. Council assesses all requests to clear out drains on a case by case basis so you can call 4921 0333 with details about a specific drain and a service request can be lodged. Generall.y mangroves grow between the high and low tide line, where drainage is
    controlled by the level of the lake not the fall of the land. However, they can colonise further along drainage lines which can impede flows. Clearing mangroves for any reason requires a permit from the State Government Fisheries Department to preserve and protect threatened tidal wetland ecosystems. A Review of Environmental Factors (REF) may also be required by Council. Council is working with NSW Fisheries to make this process easier to help improve drainage services throughout the City.




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    Council has stated that the nearest fully calibrated sea level recording station is at Port Kembla. Fort Denison and Newcastle are now fitted with Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS). The data rom these stations is used worldwide by different respected scientific organisations including the IPCC. The seaframe station at Port Kembla has only been operational since 1992. This is far too short a record. You quote a running average level and yet fail to mention that this data set has declined from 7.5mm/yr sea level rise in 2000 to the figure that council uses of 3.5mm per year. Obviously the short recording period is still subject to the normal fluctuations that can be expected of sea levels. The record from Port Kembla on it's own as you use it, is meaningless. A far longer period is needed. Why is Lake Macquarie Council so opposed to using long term relative sea level records from Newcastle and Fort Denison when they are fully calibrated and are used worldwide?

    Pat Aiken asked over 7 years ago


    Thank you for your well-researched inquiry. Lake Macquarie Council monitors information from tide gauges in Lake Macquarie (Swansea, Belmont and Marmong Point) to help us understand what is happening with levels inside the lake. However, the analysis of this information is done by experts at the National Tidal Centre in
    Canberra and the Manly Hydraulics Laboratory in Sydney, as this is a specialist area and requires the knowledge and experience of scientist who work in this field of study. As the Lake Macquarie gauges are not fully calibrated against land levels, for example, they only measure relative changes in lake levels. The Belmont gauge (the most consistent record) shows a relative rise of 2.6mm per annum from 1986 to 2012. The reasons for his rise may be due to factors such sea level rise, channel dredging, land sinking, or a combination of such factors.

    Council does not do independent analysis of the Newcastle or Fort Denison gauges, but the information from these gauges (and many others) is used widely in the many studies and analyses that go into the scientific advice on trends and projections in ocean levels provided to Government and Councils by expert bodies such as the CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology, National Tidal Centre, and the NSW Chief Scientist. Lake Macquarie Council is not “opposed” to using these records – in fact, they are incorporated in most of the advice we receive. The latest summary of sea level trends around the Australian coast based on tidal gauge and satellite measurements can be found in the Bureau of Meteorology’s 2014 biennial State of the Climate report .




    Council does not do independent
    analysis of the Newcastle or Fort Denison gauges, but the information from
    these gauges (and many others) is used widely in the many studies and analyses
    that go into the scientific advice on trends and projections in ocean levels
    provided to Government and Councils by expert bodies such as the CSIRO,
    Bureau of Meteorology, National Tidal Centre, and the NSW Chief Scientist. Lake
    Macquarie Council is not “opposed” to using these records – in fact, they are
    incorporated in one way or another in most of the advice we receive. The latest
    summary of sea level trends around the Australian coast based on tidal gauge
    and satellite measurements can be found in the Bureau of Meteorology’s
    2014 biennial State
    of the Climate report



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    Q1 Councils fact sheet on home insurance and property values makes two claims that I believe are incorrect. 1. "There is no insurance for storm surge". There is insurance for storm surge and this is provided by Westpac through St George and Westpac banks to bank customers. I also believe other insurers do offer this insurance. Customers include those who have a basic bank account and not just borrowers. This is a significant statement of error and does not assist people who want this type of insurance and certainly does not assist competition. 2. There are very few organisations or governments that continue to deny the impact of sea level rise projections on affected properties. It would be far more useful and of greater assistance for residents of Lake Macquarie if Council were to acknowledge this as a legitimate concern and then work with those residents towards a position where there is no longer a negative impact. That may come through adaptation planning but denial of reasonable concerns is a great destroyer of trust and goodwill when it is applied by a council against its own residents. Q2 Why does Council continue to "not" provide one clear map for the extent of the current 1% Flood for Lake Macquarie. There are so many maps, many are very useful but there is still not a discrete map for the most understood flood event that the vast majority of people understand is used by insurers and government alike as the benchmark to compare other flood events both above and below the 1% Flood.Lake Macquarie Council has produced almost every conceivable type of flood mapping but not one where its residents are able to actually identify this important benchmark flood extent without having to be able to differentiate between a range of different flood or inundation scenarios, each laid out in a different colour without any explanation of which is subsumed by another. This is a major flaw in Council's attempts to engage the community that is affected by these different scenarios and explain what they face.

    Pat Aiken asked over 7 years ago

    Thank you for drawing our attention to the update required in our information sheet on home insurance and flooding. We can confirm that several insurance companies are now providing cover for oceanic storm surge. There are very few properties in Lake Macquarie that are affected by this hazard.

    Council does not deny that projected sea level rise will have impacts on some properties – the purpose of local adaptation planning is to identify these impacts and decide how best to manage them, so properties are protected and remain safe from future flooding. As confirmed recently by the Insurance Council of Australia, sea level rise projections have no impact on flood insurance premiums, which are based on the insurers’ assessment of current flood risk for the period of coverage – next year, not 2050 or 2100.

    Flood maps showing the 1:100 year flood envelope (shaded yellow) for Lake Macquarie are available in the Lake Macquarie Waterway Flood Study (Figures B2-B9), although it is difficult to identify individual properties on these maps. More detailed maps are available for the Marks Point and Belmont South adaptation planning area. Council is up-grading its GIS mapping system, and expects detailed flood mapping, showing flood extents on individual lots, should be available on our
    web page in the near future. If anyone is unsure if their property is affected by flooding they should contact the Customer Service Centre on 4921 0333 or council@lakemac.nsw.gov.au



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    What are councils long term plans for areas that gradually become inundated? It would be pointless to keep raising floor levels if you can't access your property. Is the overall plan to maintain the wellbeing of these properties?

    Pat Aiken asked over 7 years ago

    Thanks for your question Pat. The simple answer to your question is “yes, wherever possible”. Council is working with local communities to develop long term plans to manage the increased threat from future flooding and rising lake levels. This includes the best way to maintain residents’ access to and use of their land. Some simple measures such as protective foreshore berms, progressive filling, and raising the level of local roads can prevent land and roads from being inundated. However, coordinating these
    actions and ensuring local drainage is maintained requires good forward planning. Although properties and roads are not likely to be severely affected for several decades, local adaptation plans will give owners certainty about actions to protect their land, and Council can start setting-up new foreshore protection works, and revising design standards for new road and drainage works, for example.



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    Is there any future development for the creek that runs along the side of Myall Road Soccer Field. I live on the opposite side and the Council, have improved the area with rocks and extra plants. I noticed after the last lot of rain, that the creek edges are starting to wash away. I am not sure if any of the earth near my side fence is washing away as yet. Maybe doing the rocks all the way along would be better and build it up. The house I currently rent had about 1 metre of water through it when the Pasha Bulker weekend. Even to just clean the area and see what to improve it for the water flow would be better.

    anonymous asked almost 8 years ago
    Hi there, Thanks for your enquiry about Myall Road Soccer Field. Our Planning for Future Flood Risks project is currently looking at the areas of Marks Point and Belmont South. Similar to our social media pages, our Have Your Say site is not used for logging and responding to service requests. I’ve forwarded your comment back to Council's Customer Service team for action. If your property is particularly badly affected by rain events, please contact Council on 4921 0333 and provide details of your problem so we can investigate and respond. Many thanks, Kate
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    Does Council have any plans to protect the natural habitat in Swan Bay for the Black Swans the bay was named after? I note the number of Black Swans has diminished with the increase in the number of boats moored in the Bay. Is this also of concern to Council?

    anonymous asked almost 8 years ago
    Thanks for your interesting observation. Council would be very interested to receive any information you have collected showing changes in the swan population between seasons or over the years. The Hunter Bird Observers carry out monthly surveys of wader and waterbirds along Swansea Channel, including Swan Bay, and the results can be found on their website: http://www.hboc.org.au/index.cfm?menukey=6 Earlier this year, Council retained the "Natural Waterway" zoning for Lake Macquarie to protect its natural values, while still allowing responsible use of the lake for recreation. The Lake Macquarie Mooring Management Plan is due for review by the NSW Roads and Maritime Service, and there will be the opportunity for public comment and submissions before it is finalised. You can contact their Newcastle office on 13 77 88 for more information.
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    There are existing drainage issues leading to flooding at the southerly end of Marks Pde, Marks Point. Has Council any existing plans to rectify this?

    anonymous asked almost 8 years ago
    Thanks for your question. Council has responded to 14 service requests for drainage or flooding issues in Marks Point so far in 2013. 70 per cent of these service requests have been resolved or closed. If there is a specific issue such as a blockage or a poorly located inlet it can be raised through a service request by contacting Council's Customer Service Centre or 4921 0333 or council@lakemac.nsw.gov.au. If you're able to provide a brief description of the problem and an address or detailed location that would be great. Photos can help too. In general, it is difficult to ensure good drainage in very flat, low-lying areas such as Marks Point or Swansea, as there is very little fall between the inlets and the outlet into the lake. This means the water flows slowly and the pipes are more prone to blockages from sediment and litter. In this current stage of the community engagement we are looking at different options to manage future flood risks in Marks Point and Belmont South. Many thanks, Kate
Page last updated: 09 September 2021, 17:01