What is the Coastal Management Program?

    The Coastal Management Program (CMP) provides the strategic direction for the management of Lake Macquarie’s coastal zone for the next 10 years and a pathway to achieve its vision of “a healthy, resilient coastal zone”.

    What does it cover?

    The CMP for the Lake Macquarie coastal zone provides an update of the Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) prepared in 2015, in accordance with the legislative requirements. The CMP builds on the successes of the CZMP and other previous programs, which have proven to be highly successful in restoring the health of the Lake Macquarie estuary (lake) and embedding systems to mitigate the impacts of coastal hazards, while continuing to provide healthy coastal environments enjoyed by the community.

    Where does it apply?

    The CMP divides our coastal zone into three parts:

    Part A: Coastline (beaches, dunes, rock platforms, headlands and wetlands)

    Part B: Estuary (includes the lake and its tributaries: Cockle Creek, LT Creek, Stony Creek, Dora Creek, Wyee Creek and North Creek) and part of catchment area including wetlands.

    Part C: Swansea Channel

    The extent of the coastal zone is defined by the NSW Coastal Management Act 2016 and State Environmental Planning Policy Resilience and Hazards 2021.

    Why is the document so long and complicated?

    The CMP has been developed to fulfil an extensive list of mandatory requirements as specified in legislation. Meeting these requirements involves the inclusion of a lot more content and technical information that would normally be covered in a Council strategy.

    Once the final CMP is adopted by Council, it will be provided to the NSW Government for certification, so we need to ensure that it meets all relevant requirements.  

    Who is involved in the CMP?

    While Lake Macquarie City Council is responsible for a large proportion of coastal management actions, effective management of the coastal zone cannot be achieved by local government alone. The CMP identifies collaborative governance arrangements with relevant stakeholders including state agencies, businesses and residents.

    What actions are included in the CMP?

    The CMP includes an implementation plan with 111 priority actions across the coastal zone.  It has 39 actions for the coastline (Part A), 36 actions for the estuary (Part B), 28 actions for Swansea Channel (Part C) and 8 ‘whole of coast’ actions.  

    These actions include planning, operational and capital works, monitoring, research and engagement projects and programs to:

    • manage key coastal hazards that threaten our coastal communities and associated infrastructure (including sea level rise)
    • improve health of coastal environments
    • maintain and improve community access to coastal areas

    engage with residents, visitors and other stakeholders on coastal issues.

    How is delivery of the CMP to be funded?

    The CMP includes a business plan which provides a framework to fund actions into the future.   This business plan identifies that Council is well placed to deliver effective coastal zone management of priority issues over the short to medium term (1-4 years) within existing resourcing limits (supplemented by grants).  It also identifies a range of opportunities to improve the sustainability of coastal funding into the future.

    By having a certified CMP in place, the identified actions are eligible for funding via the NSW Government Coastal and Estuary Grants Program (which provides $2 grant funds for each $1 of council contribution).  The CMP also strengthens Council’s position to obtain funding through other federal and state funding programs. 

    What are the CMP’s principles for managing the coastal zone?

    The CMP has 12 principles to guide the management of our coastal zone, being:

    1. Contribution to global sustainability,
    2. Evidence based approach,
    3. Focus on the causes,
    4. Build upon success of catchment management and soft engineering,
    5. Integrate coastal hazards and ecological health across the coastal zone,
    6. Build on the success of local adaptation planning using a locally based, community co-design approach,
    7. Build upon the success of community and volunteer engagement,
    8. Enhance Aboriginal involvement in coastal zone management,
    9. Apply an adaptive approach,
    10. Embed climate change and circular economy principles,
    11. Recognise multiple benefits,
    12. Utilise the best available tools

    Does the CMP address sea level rise and coastal hazards?

    Yes – the CMP includes information and actions on sea level rise and other coastal hazards including coastal erosion (of beaches and lake foreshore), coastal inundation, coastal cliff stability, and the stability of Swansea Channel.

    Does the CMP address Pelican foreshore?

    Yes – the CMP addresses the erosion of the foreshore at Pelican and includes details on the proposed stabilisation works for this site.  These proposed works (totalling approximately $11.5 million) are the most significant capital item included in the CMP.  Whilst these works are currently not funded, their inclusion in the CMP strengthens Council’s position in obtaining external funding.

    Does it have actions to address the impacts of power stations on the health of the lake?

    No – the NSW Government’s mandatory requirements specifically require the sign-off from relevant government agencies before the CMP can be certified by the Minister.   Council has not yet been able to reach agreement from all agencies involved in regulating power station so actions on power station impacts have not been included in the exhibition draft. Including actions that have not been signed-off by relevant agencies will prevent the certification of the CMP.  

    How does the CMP affect development proposals?

    The CMP does not impose any additional development controls that are not currently in place.

    It includes pre-existing coastal hazard lines and inundation planning levels from prior plans such as the Coastal Zone Management Plan 2015.

    Does the CMP cover the southern foreshores of the lake?

    Yes – the draft CMP includes actions relating to the management of foreshore erosion in the Central Coastal Local Government Area (LGA).  

    Does the CMP include actions to manage the catchment?

    Whilst the CMP considers issues and impacts for the whole of the Lake Macquarie catchment, the proposed on-ground actions in the CMP are limited to within the coastal zone (32 percent of the LGA).  This is due to the requirements from the NSW Government that specify all on-ground actions must be located in the mapped coastal zone to be fit for certification.   Including on-ground actions outside the coastal zone will prevent the certification of the CMP.  

    Does the CMP address dredging of Swansea Channel?

    Yes – the CMP includes actions for the dredging of Swansea Channel.  These actions cover: implementing of the current dredging strategy; undertaking a dredging framework update; and investigating the installation of a sand transfer pipeline to Blacksmiths beach (to allow dredge sand to be used for beach nourishment).    

    Does the CMP address dune vegetation?

    Yes – the CMP includes actions to prepare (and implement) dune management plans for Redhead, Blacksmiths, Caves and Catherine Hill Bay beaches.  The purpose of these plans is to achieve stable and resilient dunes with healthy dune-front vegetation (such as spinifex) whilst not increasing risks from coastal hazards.

How do I make a submission?

    How do I make a submission?

    • Comment or upload a written submission via our online submission form.
    • Email: [email protected] with the subject heading Att. Symon Walpole, Draft Coastal Management Program
    • In writing: Box 1906, Hunter Region Mail Centre, NSW 2310

    What should I put in a submission?

    Your submission can be as concise or as long as you wish:

    Ideally, you will express your level of support for the draft program and provide detailed and specific feedback. The feedback will be reviewed by staff and later presented to Council to make an informed decision.

    Should multiple submissions be received from a single resident regarding this project, the feedback will be reviewed by staff and counted as one submission when reporting back to the Councillors.

    We recommend that all residents include feedback in a single submission.

    I've made a submission - what happens next?

    Feedback may result in further changes being made to the draft policy prior to a report being prepared for Council.

    You will be notified again, prior to Council considering the matter, which will include a link to the Council report containing a summary of submissions and how feedback was considered. It is expected the draft program will be reported back to Council seeking adoption in early 2023.