The Shellharbour Local Government Area has about 7 kilometres of coastline. The coast and beaches are valued by the community and are mostly fringed by urban development, such as car parks, public reserves and housing. The management and planning of this area is an ongoing and important role of Council.

The risks to our coast from coastal processes such as storms, big waves and big tides are well recognised. There are risks to our coastline in the future due to climate change and sea level rise.

Coastal Zone Management Plan (2018)

To manage these present and future risks we resolved to prepare a Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) for the Shellharbour coastline, with the assistance of a grant from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH). 

The Shellharbour CZMP was prepared under the prevailing OEH Guidelines for Preparing Coastal Zone Management Plans and relevant legislation including the Coastal Protection Act, 1979. It was certified on 16 April 2018 by the Chief Executive of the Office of Environment and Heritage under delegation from the Minister for the Environment, the Honourable Gabrielle Upton, and was gazetted on the 6 June 2018. 

The CZMP defines the level of risk from coastal hazards and provides a coordinated approach to the management of these hazards. It provides guidance for future management and strategic land use planning of the Shellharbour coastal zone to ensure growth and development without putting at risk the natural, cultural and heritage values of the coast.

Shellharbour City Council - Coastal Management Program

Councils are now required to prepare a Coastal Management Program (CMP) under the Coastal Management Act 2016, which will transition away from the existing Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP). The Coastal Management Act provides for the integrated management of the coastal environment of New South Wales NSW), consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development, for the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of NSW.

Shellharbour City Council is preparing a Coastal Management Program (CMP) for its coastal areas, from Windang Island to Bass Point. This includes the following beaches and waterways:

  • Warilla Beach
  • Shellharbour North Beach
  • Elliot Lake
  • Nuns Beach
  • Shellharbour Boat Harbour and Shell Cove Boat Harbour
  • Shellharbour South Beach

Bass Point, Minnamurra Beach (Mystics) and Killalea are under NSW Government ownership. However, the CMP will provide comments on the management of these areas also. 

A CMP is a long-term strategy for managing coastal regions. A CMP considers current coastal conditions, as well as historic and potential future events related to population growth, climate change, and the environment. CMPs identify coastal management issues and the actions required to address these issues in a strategic and integrated way. It will also detail how and when those actions will be implemented, the cost, and funding mechanisms. 

A CMP is prepared in five stages and Shellharbour City Council has recently commenced Stage 1: Identify the scope of a coastal management program. 

The purpose of stage 1 is to identify the local community and stakeholders; determine the context of coastal management of the local area; determine coastal management issues; establish roles and responsibilities; identify knowledge gaps; prepare a preliminary business case and develop a program for the subsequent four stages of the CMP process. 

Image Source: State of NSW and Office of Environment and Heritage, 2018

For more information on all five stages, please go to the NSW Government website on coastal management.
As a part of this first stage, Council will begin engaging with stakeholders to understand and gain insight into the context of current coastal management arrangements and key coastal issues. This information will assist in the preparation of the scoping study which will guide future stages of CMP development.

Engagement and input from the community and stakeholders is an essential part of the development of a CMP. During the scoping study stage, the community and stakeholders will have the opportunity to get involved by:

  • Providing comments to Council directly via the Let’s Chat page (Coming soon)
  • Attending a community drop-in session (Thursday April 14th 3:30pm – 7:30pm at Shellharbour Civic Centre) 
  • Participating in a survey on the CMP (Coming soon)


We look forward to your participation in the CMP process!


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Community Beach Monitoring Program: CoastSnap & Beachstat

We're is implementing a community beach monitoring program to help us closely map our changing coastline.
Last updated : Wed 25 May 2022