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. 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. While the CZMP considers risks to 2100, the plan is focused on actions that can be implemented over the next 5 to 10 years.
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.