Coastal Protection Regulation 2011

The Coastal Protection Act 1979 is the principal legislation relating to coastal management in New South Wales. Key provisions of the Act include requirements relating to Ministerial concurrences for certain developments in the coastal zone, and requirements relating to preparing coastal zone management plans. It also includes order powers relating to unlawful dumping of material on beaches.

The Act has been amended by the Coastal Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2010 and the Coastal Protection Amendment Act 2012. This included updated provisions allowing landowners to temporarily place sand or sandbags as temporary coastal protection works in coastal erosion-prone areas.

The primary objective of the Coastal Protection Regulation 2011 which commenced on 3 March 2011 is to support the amendments to the Coastal Protection Act. The main provisions of the Regulation are:

  • requirements relating to temporary coastal protection works by landowners, specified in a Code of Practice (130637copcoast.pdf, 36KB) under the Regulation and also explained in a guide to these requirements (130638guidestatreqs.pdf; 571KB)
  • requirements relating to Ministerial concurrences which must be obtained before carrying out certain off-shore development activities

The Regulation requires that Ministerial concurrences under Part 3 of the Coastal Protection Act are required for certain offshore developments. These requirements do not apply to:

  • State Significant Infrastructure or State Significant Development or development under Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 or exempt development under that Act
  • development carried out in accordance with a coastal zone management plan.

Ministerial concurrences apply to that part of the coastal zone below the mean high water mark, excluding any estuary, lake or artificial harbour. For the purposes of the Regulation, 'estuary' includes any part of a river where the water level is affected (including intermittently) by coastal tides as well as any partially enclosed body of water that is intermittently open to the sea.

To ensure that concurrence is only required where there is a potential for the development to present a high risk to the coastal zone, the concurrence of the Minister is not required if the development consists of, or the use and occupation of land is for the purpose of, any of the following:

  • the dredging of sediments from the seabed, when the dredging occurs in water depths greater than 30 metres below mean sea level and the volume of sediments removed is less than 100 cubic metres per year
  • the placement of sediment on the seabed where the water depth following the placement would be greater than 30 metres below mean sea level and the volume of sediments placed is less than 10,000 cubic metres per year
  • the placement of any solid object on the seabed where the top of the object, when placed, would be at a depth of more than 30 metres below mean sea level
  • the temporary disturbance of the seabed associated with the carrying out of development under the seabed is less than 30 days at any location.

Applications for Ministerial concurrence should be addressed to:

Director Environmental Programs Branch
Office of Environment and Heritage
PO Box A290
Sydney South NSW 1232

Development of the Regulation

The proposed Regulation (ProposedCoastalProtectionRegulation2011.pdf; 260KB) was placed on exhibition in February 2011, together with a Regulatory Impact Statement (110043CoastalProtRIS.pdf; 177KB).

The Regulation was finalised taking into consideration comments received during the exhibition period.

Proposed amendments

As part of its stage one coastal management reforms, the Coastal Protection Regulation 2011 has been amended to remove the requirements relating to the categorisation of land according to its vulnerability to coastal hazards (Part 4 of the Regulation).

Page last updated: 15 August 2013