Council adopts coastal management plan
A plan to manage the coastline of the former Gosford City local government area has been adopted by Central Coast Council.
It will now be sent for Ministerial approval.
Gosford Beaches Coastal Zone Management Plan includes the beaches, coastal lagoons and estuaries of the Peninsula.
The plan was originally prepared by the former Gosford Council and was submitted for approval.
The Minister returned it, requesting revision of the management of land at Patonga and Pearl Beach.
The primary purpose of the plan was to describe proposed actions to be implemented by Council, other public authorities and by the private sector for the management of the coastal zone between 2015 and 2025.
"The issues include managing risks to public safety and built assets, pressures on coastal ecosystems and community uses of the coastal zone," according to the plan.
"The primary objective of this plan is to protect and preserve the beach environments, beach amenity, public access and social fabric of the open coast and Broken Bay beaches while managing coastal hazard risks to people and the environment."
Administrator Mr Ian Reynolds said the plan provided the foundation for the development of appropriate planning controls that would protect the coastline now and into the future.
"This will be welcome news for those who live along the coast as it will provide firm guidelines on what can and cannot be built on privately owned or public land," Mr Reynolds said.
"The Plan sets out clear roles and responsibilities for private landowners, Council and other public authorities to plan and manage the coastline as well as respond to coastal hazards as the need arises.
"Our beaches are one of our greatest natural assets and we need to ensure there is a proper framework in place that balances the need for sustainable development where it can happen while ensuring our coastal environment is protected and enhanced now and well into the future."
The draft plan, which was prepared by Worley Parsons, described the coastline as "diverse and spectacular" and including "amongst the most dynamic beaches on the east coast of Australia".
It aimed to complement the development of plans for the Lower Hawkesbury River Estuary (2009), Brisbane Water (2012), Pearl Beach Lagoon (2014) and Gosford's Coastal Lagoons (2015).
The draft plan was put together following a coastal zone study and community and stakeholder consultation during 2015.
A coastal sub-committee of the former Gosford Council was also instrumental in the formulation of the draft plan.
The plan lists management measures over a 10 to 15 year timeframe.
Some measures could be implemented quickly "such as development and building controls, hazard education, public awareness and dune management programs".
However, the plan also acknowledged that "availability of funding will determine when certain options can be implemented such as structural measures or voluntary purchase of property".
Action for each beach was based on coastal hazards, existing coastal management measures, recommendations of previous studies and issues raised by the local community.
It stated that "the major challenges across the beaches relate to land use and development".
Options were developed for each beach for managing future coastal risk: defend, accommodate, retreat, or maintain the status quo.
The plan stated that some measures would be applied to all beaches, including water quality improvement in the first year of the plan.
Pollutant sources would be identified and consequent action would include works, catchment controls, compliance and education activities.
A Coastal Erosion and Inundation Emergency Response Plan would also be developed.
A centralised record would be kept of geotechnical information relevant to coastal frontage development.
An ongoing beach and infrastructure monitoring program was also to be developed by council with a one-year timeframe.
Within two-to-five years, according to the plan, Council would implement an ongoing public education program on coastal management issues at a cost of $20,000 per year.
A beach nourishment strategy would be another two-to-five-year management action for all beaches covered by the plan at a cost of $50,000.
A $210,000 dune management and beach scraping strategy is also included in the plan with a two-to-five year timeframe.
This would include dune vegetation mapping, weed mapping and vegetation profiling; developing a works program for individual beaches, preparation of environmental assessment and obtaining relevant licenses, investigating reactive scraping following storm events and proactive scraping to build dune while there was sand available on the beaches and community engagement and involvement of dune care and bush care teams.
Together with the State Government, an inventory and management strategy would be developed of rocky shore habitats across the study area.
Media release, 26 Apr 2017
Ian Reynolds, Central Coast Council
Management Plan, 3 Apr 2017
Gosford Beaches Coastal Zone, WorleyParsons