Eurobodalla Shire Council is on the hunt for people who want to help shape the future management of the region’s famously beautiful beaches and coastline.
Council is currently in the process of preparing a Coastal Management Program (CMP) and is seeking residents who wish to participate in workshops where their voices and ideas can be heard.
The CMP is a mandatory undertaking for all coastal councils. It’s intended to outline strategies for areas that are, or are expected to be, affected by coastal hazards such as erosion and inundation. More generally, it examines how the coastline and beaches will be managed well into the future.
It’s also not just council assets that will be considered in the program. Community and private assets will also be examined, with particular attention paid to areas that could be at risk.
It is also hoped strategies will be developed in order to identify areas that could use better access or protection.
Eurobodalla Shire Council coastal planner Cameron Whiting said the Coastal Management Program will cover more than 140km of open coastline in the shire, from South Durras to Wallaga Lake.
Council manages approximately 60 per cent of the area, with the remaining beaches managed by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Mr Whiting said the workshops will consider areas such as future access, and amenity and asset protection.
“We want to know how communities want to see their coastline protected, enhanced or just left the way it is,” he said.
“This input will be considered alongside technical investigations to develop strategies to adapt our communities to coastal hazards.
“Eurobodalla’s beaches are at the centre of our environment, economy and social fabric, and we’re keen to hear from representatives up and down the coast.”
With changes having been made to NSW coastal management policies during the years, the project has experienced stop-start progress, but council is now progressing the plan and has brought in specialist consultant Rhelm.
Workshops will begin in August 2021 to allow community members to give input and have their say on the program.
Alongside a general invitation for nominations, council will also write to local community associations and invite representatives to participate in the workshops. It also hopes for representatives from areas without community associations, as well as from youth participants.
The project involves a five-step implementation process, and is currently at stage three. After preferred solutions have been developed via thorough community consolation, a public exhibition and certification program will take place.
Additional opportunities to comment and contribute will be provided at that stage.
Community feedback opened in 2018, and is now being implemented as work begins on the final CMP, which will be prepared in accordance with the NSW Coastal Management Act 2016 and the NSW Coastal Management Manual 2018.
If you wish to take part, or sign up for regular updates on the project, register your interest with Eurobodalla Shire Council before Friday, 25 July, 2021.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the workshops may be limited in size or may be held online, depending on advice from the NSW Government.