Reforms to better manage our coast

Planning Minister Rob Stokes today released draft reforms for consultation to make coastal management in NSW simpler, forward-thinking and easier to implement.

Coastline Green Cape, Ben Boyd National Park

“The NSW Government recognises the importance of our state’s saltwater economy and we want to see thriving, resilient communities living, working and playing on a healthy coast now and into the future,” Mr Stokes said.

“We want to replace and improve on the outdated and complex web of laws managing our coast. The current Act is complex, difficult to navigate, and its one-size-fits all approach is no longer fit for purpose.

“Since the original Coastal Protection Act was enacted in 1979 our understanding of coastal processes has improved dramatically. We know our coastline is not a fixed object, but a dynamic, ever-changing environment with a range of natural processes.”

The reforms include:

  • A draft Bill for a new Coastal Management Act.
  • Key elements of a new Coastal Management Manual.
  • Proposals for a new Coastal Management State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP).

The draft Bill redefines the coast as four distinct areas of coastal wetlands and littoral rainforests; coastal vulnerability areas; coastal environment areas and coastal use areas to identify each area’s unique management requirements.

The manual will provide guidance to local councils and clear, step-by-step instructions to support them to manage their coast using the new Coastal Management Act.

The new SEPP will help manage the legacy of existing coastal hazards and help plan to ensure new hazards are avoided.

A three-month consultation period will run to ensure everyone has a chance to have their say. Go to

MEDIA: Andrew Priestley 0417 551 706