Coastal management programs

Coastal management programs are prepared by local councils in accordance with the coastal management manual and in consultation with their communities and relevant public authorities.

Purpose of a coastal management program

Coastal management programs (CMPs) set the long-term strategy for the coordinated management of the coast, with a focus on achieving the objects and objectives of the Coastal Management Act 2016 (CM Act).

CMPs identify coastal management issues and the actions required to address these issues in a strategic and integrated way.

CMPs detail how and when those actions are to be implemented, their costs and proposed cost-sharing arrangements and other viable funding mechanisms.

The CM Act (and other relevant legislation) establishes specific roles and responsibilities for relevant Ministers, the NSW Coastal Council, public authorities and local councils, as well as providing opportunities for communities to participate when preparing and implementing a CMP.

Content of a coastal management program

A CMP generally includes:

  • an executive summary
  • an introduction
  • a snapshot of management issues
  • actions to be implemented by the council
  • actions to be implemented by adjoining councils or public authorities
  • a business plan
  • a coastal zone emergency action sub plan
  • maps showing the area covered by the CMP and the relevant coastal management areas
  • a reference list.

Councils have flexibility in deciding the area and issues their CMP will cover.

Linking a coastal management program to an integrated planning and reporting framework

Actions in a CMP may be implemented through a council’s integrated planning and reporting (IP&R) framework and land-use planning systems. The manual provides guidance on integrating the preparation and implementation of a CMP with a councils’ existing IP&R plans and planning processes.

Involving neighbouring councils and public authorities

A CMP may be prepared by adjoining councils working together where features and processes cross local government boundaries.

As a minimum, councils should consult with neighbouring councils that share the same coastal sediment compartment or an estuary when preparing a CMP.

Councils should also consult and seek the agreement of public authorities when a CMP proposes actions or activities (including emergency actions) that are to be carried out by the public authority or that affect or impact any land or assets owned or managed by a public authority.

Funding for coastal management programs

Actions in a CMP may be funded through the NSW Government Coastal and Estuary Grants Program. Read more about the Coastal and Estuary Grants Program.

Advice on preparing a coastal management program

Councils, public authorities or community members seeking further information about roles, responsibilities and planning processes relating to a CMP should contact the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.

Coastal and Estuary Program Project Report

In 2016, an $83.6 million Coastal Reform package was announced by the NSW Government. In late 2019, the Government undertook a project examining ways of improving councils access to funding under this package. The independent report listed 38 recommendations for consideration.

The department has now considered those recommendations and has prepared an Agency Response. Thirty-two recommendations have been accepted, 1 partially accepted, 4 are under further investigation and 1 was not accepted.