Coastal councils granted $480 thousand to plan ahead

Ensuring the impact communities have on their coastal environments remains positive is at the core of seven planning grants greenlighted for local councils by the NSW Government today.

Hastings River

Port Macquarie-Hastings, Shoalhaven, Ballina and Coffs Harbour Councils have successfully secured a combined total of $480,545 under the 2021–2022 Coastal and Estuary Grants Program’s planning stream.

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said the planning stream is the first step towards greater understanding of our coastal environment.

“From assessing sewerage discharge, mapping endangered ecological communities, invesitaging ways to improve water quality to developing a crucial Coastal Management Program, the four successful councils have demonstrated that they are looking to the future,” Mrs Hancock.

“The Coastal and Estuary Grants Program supports local government to understand the complex coastal and estuarine environment.

“Overall, the program aims to increase coastal communities’ resilience and improve the health of NSW coast and estuaries through well-planned action.”

Under this latest funding round, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council will receive 3 grants totalling $206,668 to investigate coastal hazard protection options for Illaroo Road ($70,000), to undertake a study of sewerage discharges and overflows at Kooloonbung Creek ($70,0001) and to update environmental data and assess remediation strategies for the Hastings River estuary ($66,667).

Additionally, Shoalhaven City Council will receive $103,334 for 2 projects – to map and assess endangered ecological communities in Shoalhaven’s coastal hazard areas, and to complete a hydraulic assessment of the stormwater drainage network in high risk coastal cliffs and sloping areas.

Ballina Shire Council will also receive $80,543 to investigate aerator regimes for Lake Ainsworth to improve water quality.

And finally, Coffs Harbour City Council will receive $90,000 to develop a combined Coastal Management Program (CMP) for Central Coffs estuaries (Moonee Creek, Coffs Creek and Boambee/Newports Creek).

Last year the State Government increased planning funding and now provide $2 for every $1 provided by councils, to assist in developing their Coastal Management Programs.

There are currently 5 funding streams under the Coastal and Estuary Grants Program. One stream is for planning and studies, while the other four are for implementing works identified in certified coastal or estuary management programs.

Councils can apply for grants to undertake planning and studies at any time during the year, while applications for grants to implement works can be made annually in a contestable grants’ round.

Find more information on Coastal and estuary management grants awarded and project summaries.