Impacts of unauthorised works may include increased erosion, contamination, environmental degradation, risks to life and public safety or other effects on beaches and foreshore areas that may create legacy issues for coastal communities.
Compliance and enforcement in the coastal zone generally occur under the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and other legislation. This helps ensure that unauthorised works and development in the coastal zone are treated the same way as any other unauthorised development, and that any enforcement action follows a transparent and established process.
Local councils and public authorities have an important role in undertaking compliance and enforcement activities when unauthorised works or development takes place. This enables environmental impacts to be minimised and reduces the likelihood of public safety issues arising from poorly designed, placed or maintained works.
A proactive program for dealing with unauthorised works and development can help mitigate against the longer-term costs and liabilities that councils and public authorities may face as a result of having to manage the impacts or legacy issues.