What is a Coastal Management Program?

    A Coastal Management Program (CMP) provides Council’s direction for managing coastal hazards in the short to medium term and establishes Council’s long-term strategy for the coordinated management of the coastal zone with a focus on achieving the objects of the Coastal Management Act 2016 (the CM Act). 

    A CMP considers the diverse range - and complex interaction - of social and ecological systems within the coastal zone to ensure management actions are aligned with both the Council and community's desired social, economic and environmental outcomes.

    The CMP will set Council's strategy to enhance the coordinated management of the coastal zone to address current and future risks. CMPs are a statutory document prepared under the CM Act, with guidance provided by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment via the NSW Coastal Framework.

    See the Tweed River Estuary Coastal Management Program 2022-32 for example. 

    What will the CMP consider?

    Each council has different experience, issues, challenges and opportunities in coastal management. Accordingly, the scope of the CMP is specific to the local circumstances, community and environment, and considers a range of factors including the:

    • ecological values, including aquatic and terrestrial habitats, riparian and floodplain connectivity, flora and fauna, and exotic species that threaten ecosystem integrity
    • existing knowledge, including scientific and community sources such as Aboriginal cultural and other user perspectives
    • natural resource management institutional structures, particularly legislative and policy changes via the NSW Coastal Management reforms
    • Aboriginal values and uses of the coast and estuaries
    • sustainable commercial resource use and values (eg. fish, oysters, tourism, boating, farming, sand mining, aquaculture)
    • adaptation to climate change, potential inundation of built assets because of sea level rise, and capacity for migration of natural habitats
    • community values of the coast and estuaries and aspirations for their use and management
    • scenic beauty
    • physical environmental conditions including:
      • beach erosion (e.g. dune erosion) and shoreline recession (long-term landward creep of shoreline), 
      • the stability of rocky headlands (ie. Fingal, Cabarita, Hastings), 
      • coastal estuaries: tidal inundation and entrance instability

    The CMP will guide how issues will be dealt with, who is responsible, where funding will come from and when actions will be undertaken.

    Does Tweed Shire already have a Coastal Management Program?

    Council have a detailed history of managing the coastal zone. The most recent (not superseded) coastal management plans include: 

    Council is currently developing the Tweed Coast and Estuaries Coastal Management Program which will integrate uncompleted actions of and supersede the Tweed Coast and Estuaries CZMP 2013 and Tweed Shire Coastline MP 2005. 

    For more information on coast and waterways management in Tweed, click here

    Why is this CMP only focused on the open coast and estuaries?

    Under the Coastal Management Act, CMPs are required to take a “systems” approach to coastal management. This means that the study area for the CMP needs to recognise that important physical and ecological systems extend across the catchment, coastline and estuaries of the Tweed Shire Local Government Area – including hydrological, ecological, social and governance systems.

    The Stage 1 Scoping Study defined that the appropriate CMP process for the Tweed involves three (3) distinct programs for: the Cobaki and Terranora broadwaters, the Tweed River Estuary, and the Tweed Coast and Estuaries. The geographic area for each of these CMPs is depicted in the image below. 

    When are the views of the community taken into consideration?

    Community and stakeholder engagement is integral to coastal management and is recommended by the CM Manual for each stage of the CMP lifecycle (other than Stage 5). Stage 5 does not involve engagement as it relates to Council implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reporting; however, individual actions themselves may require engagement (e.g. land zone map updates are publicly exhibited). 

    Council aims to inform and engage the community in the development of the CMP. Details on CMP information sheets and community engagement events will be updated at numerous times throughout the CMP process as recommended by the Community Engagement Plan established under Stage 1. The indicative engagement strategies are provided below: 

    Stage 2:

    • Your Say Tweed page providing information and status updates on CMP progress
    • Community Information Summary sheet(s) describing Stage 2 of the CMP process, Coastal Hazards & Processes, and advertising upcoming engagement events. 
    • Drop in community conversations – staff attendance at local markets to discuss the project  
    • Focus groups/interviews – interactive workshop(s) where community communicate their uses and values within the study area 
    • Online community uses and values survey to provide a representative snapshot of how residents value the Tweed’s beaches and estuaries and the key issues about how they should be managed
    • Online 'Drop a pin' tool to provide a geographically representative snapshot of community uses and values regarding Tweed's beaches and estuaries. 

    Stage 3: 

    • Update Your Say Tweed page providing information and status updates on CMP progress, including findings of Stage 2
    • Community Information Summary sheet describing the purpose of Stage 3 and advertising upcoming engagement events
    • Community Conversations – interactive workshop(s) where community and stakeholders are asked to provide feedback on potential management options  
    • Focus groups/interviews – expand upon community conversations for stakeholders that work best in smaller groups
    • Online survey to gain feedback from community on potential management options

    Stage 4: 

    • Update Your Say Tweed page providing information and status updates on CMP progress, including findings of Stage 3
    • Public Exhibition of Draft CMP: Community Feedback sought on the Draft CMP
    • Possible Community Conversations workshop – To be determined closer to date

    What are coastal processes and hazards?

    Coastal environments are dynamic and ever changing in response to a diverse range of interacting and interdependent drivers and processes. Coastal processes are the everyday functions of the marine and intertidal zone which shape the profile of a beach and greater coastal environment. Coastal processes include natural phenomena such as currents, tides, waves, storms (rainfall and runoff, elevated water levels, large waves), and sediment (i.e. sand) transport including erosion and accretion of dunes and foreshores. Human interventions such as retaining, training, and sea walls, beach nourishment, and coastal vegetation modifications can influence the impact of coastal processes on the coastal environment. 

    For more information, please view the Fact Sheet - Coastal Processes

    Coastal hazards are the product of exacerbated coastal processes which may threaten coastal developments and recreational areas, public infrastructure and assets, and sensitive coastal ecosystems. Under the Coastal Management Manual, seven (7) coastal hazards are identified to be addressed under a Coastal Management Program, being: 

    • Beach erosion
    • Shoreline recession
    • Coastal lake or watercourse entrance instability
    • Coastal inundation
    • Coastal cliff or slope instability
    • Tidal inundation
    • Erosion and inundation of foreshores caused by tidal waters and the action of waves, including the interaction of those waters with catchment floodwaters. 

    For more information on coastal hazards, please view the Fact Sheet - Coastal Hazards.

    What is the legislation surrounding a Coastal Management Program?

    Local councils and public authorities manage their coastal areas and activities in accordance with relevant state legislation, policies and plans. 

    The framework for managing the NSW coast includes: 

    CMPs should support the overall objectives of the Coastal Management Act 2016 and assist Council in implementing integrated coastal zone management. The Coastal Management Act 2016, State Environmental Planning Policy (Resilience and Hazards) 2021, Chapter 2: Coastal Management 2018, and NSW Coastal Management Manual guide the development of a Coastal Management Program.

    How is a CMP created?

    A CMP is developed by a Local Government (Council) under the guidance of the Coastal Management Manual. The manual provides technical information and guidance to assist councils in addressing the requirements of the Coastal Management Act 2016 (CM Act), and a risk management process for councils to follow when preparing their CMPs. It outlines mandatory minimum requirements to be included in each stage of the CMP and provides guidance regarding the preparation, adoption, implementation, amendment and review of a CMP. 

    The lifecycle of a CMP progresses through five stages as identified in the image below. The process is iterative, restarting with Stage 1 on completion of Stage 5. For more information, see Fact Sheet - CMP Process or the Coastal Management Manual.

    Where can I find more information about coast and estuary management in the Tweed?