Coastal reforms overview

Introduction of Coastal Management Bill 2016

The Coastal Management Bill 2016 has been introduced into Parliament on 3 May 2016. You can access the bill and follow its passage on the Coastal Management Bill 2016 page on the NSW Parliament website.

Media release

Minister for Planning and the Treasurer - NSW Budget: Biggest funding boost to coastal management since 1970s (PDF 156KB)

Public submissions and submissions report

The NSW Government has prepared a submissions report on the public submissions received on the coastal management reforms. The public consultation submissions are also available.

Download the Report on Submissions Received (PDF 569KB)

Public consultation on the coastal management reforms

On 13 November 2015, the NSW Government took a major next step in its coastal management reforms by releasing a draft framework for coastal management for public consultation. Consultation on the draft coastal management framework closed on 29 February 2016.

In response to valuable community feedback obtained during the initial consultation phase, a full draft Coastal Management State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) and corresponding maps of the coastal management areas will also be released separately for public comment in the coming months.

The documents that were exhibited for public comment were:

Future public consultation in 2016:

  • a full draft of the proposed new Coastal Management SEPP
  • maps of the coastal management areas.

An overview of the draft framework (PDF 1.9MB) was prepared to assist the public to understand the intent and components of the proposed arrangements. An introduction to the coastal management manual (PDF 1.6MB) was also prepared to provide a non-technical summary of the manual, which itself is targeted at coastal management specialists and practitioners.

A set of frequently asked questions also remain available, to help to better understand the reforms.

Figure 1: Draft coastal management framework

Diagram of proposed framework


The NSW Government's announcement of the draft coastal management framework for public consultation is part of implementing the NSW Government's commitment to a two-stage coastal reform program. Stage 1 of the reforms is complete (see below). The aims and direction of stage 2 of the reforms were outlined in the Minister's announcement on 13 November 2014 (PDF, 243KB) at the 2014 NSW Coastal Conference.

The reforms continue to be overseen by relevant Government Ministers with input from the Coastal Expert Panel. show details

The Coastal Expert Panel was established to inform the Government's coastal reforms. The panel will provide advice to the Minister during the coastal reforms on the following matters:

  • developing a coherent framework for coastal management in the context of the planning and other government reforms
  • funding models available to governments and landowners for coastal management
  • minimisation of present and future coastal hazard risk
  • the needs of local government and other stakeholders in managing coastal risk.

The panel consists of the following members:

  • Professor Darryl Low Choy
  • Associate Professor Ron Cox
  • Mr Angus Gordon
  • Councillor Kevin Schreiber
  • Ms Kristin Stubbins
  • Emeritus Professor Bruce Thom.

The panel members were appointed for their skills and experience, which collectively cover the areas of coastal geomorphology, coastal engineering, finance, planning, local government and community values. The NSW Government has considered the panel's advice in developing proposals for the reforms.

Stage 1 reforms (previous stage)

The stage1 reforms are now complete.

Initiative/reform element


Coastal Protection Act amendments

Act amendments commenced on 21 January 2013

Temporary coastal protection works Code of Practice

Code of Practice (PDF 367KB) finalised following feedback from the Expert Panel

s149 certificates notation

A planning circular was released on 13 November 2014 and is available on the Department of Planning and Environment website.

Removal sea level rise benchmarks

OEH's Guidelines for Preparing Coastal Zone Management Plans have been updated to remove reference to the benchmarks. Notices gazetted on 12 July 2013 linking new Guidelines to section 733 of Local Government Act; and adopting Guidelines for purposes of section 55D of Coastal Protection Act.

Chief Scientist's Report

The Chief Scientist's Report, (PDF 1.6MB) noted the evolving nature of science and that this will provide a clearer picture of changing sea levels in the future.

SES/LGSA Storm Safe Guide

The Coastal Erosion Guide, (PDF 4.0MB) developed by the NSW State Emergency Service provides important information about coastal erosion.

Coastal Zone Management Plan Extension

Councils with Ministerial directions to prepare Coastal Zone Management Plans have been advised of the due date for submission of their plans to the Minister.

With the stage two reforms now progressing, the Minister has commenced certification of plans that accord with the current guidelines.

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Page last updated: 10 May 2016