Coastal Zone Management Plan identifies areas at severe risk of erosion

The northern end of the Wyong coast showing areas of natural coast (green), hot spots (red), recreation and urban (yellow)

Central Coast Council has revised its Coastal Zone Management Plan for the northern coastal areas, extending 33km from just south of Catherine Hill Bay to Crackneck Point, and is seeking community feedback on the proposed changes.
Council has worked with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to review the Wyong Coastal Zone Management Plan (WCZMP 2017) in response to changes to NSW legislation and improved information about coastal hazards.
The Plan was placed on public exhibition on May 15 and will remain on exhibition until June 13.
Council’s Group Leader of Assets, Infrastructure and Business, Mr Mike Dowling, said the draft plan aimed to address risks from coastal hazards and outline actions to improve the environmental and community benefits for the Coast.
“This process started under the former Wyong Council and we must move this plan forward to provide certainty for our residents who live on the Coastline,” Mr Dowling said.
“A plan for the former Gosford City Council area has now been sent to the Minister for the Environment for final endorsement, but while this plan is similar in design and intent, we must and want to seek community feedback on the changes.
“Without a proper plan in place to cover our coastal areas, we cannot apply for State Government funding to help manage coastal hazards,” Mr Dowling said.
After 2011, it was apparent that the potential risk from coastal and landslip processes was not clearly defined.
Council undertook a review of the hazards information to better define the coastal and geotechnical risks in the former Wyong local government area.
The revised hazards mapping is documented in the draft WCZMP 2017 currently on exhibition.
To assist the community to review the draft WCZMP 2017 and to discuss their concerns and ideas, community drop-in sessions will be held during the public exhibition period on Friday, May 26 (4:00pm to 6:00pm) at Tuggerah Lakes Community Centre, 1 Bay Village Rd, Bateau Bay, and on Monday, June 5 (6:00pm to 8:00pm) at The Entrance Community Centre, Building A Classroom, 15 Battley Ave, The Entrance.
The Plan will be available for viewing at Council’s offices and local library branches and at
Submissions will close at midnight on Tuesday, June 13.
The CZMP for the northern part of the new Central Coast Local Government Area (former Wyong Shire) has been prepared by a different consultant to the plan for the former Gosford LGA, which has already been sent to the NSW Minister for final approval.
According to the latest version of the Wyong CZMP, five locations within the former Wyong LGA are at severe risk from erosion and have been classified as erosion Hot Spots by the NSW Government.
“To assist with how actions in this CZMP will be applied, the Wyong coast has been organised into four management precincts…defined in terms of their different values and level of risk that …support different levels and types of community usage, development, and ecological function, and which require different management intent and actions.
The Hot Spot Precinct covers the five hot spot embayments of Blue Bay, Toowoon Bay, North Entrance Beach, Hargraves Beach and Cabbage Tree Harbour.
“These embayments are already at imminent risk of erosion.
“A key action is for detailed cost-benefit analyses to select a feasible and financially viable erosion management action to be implemented prior to irreversible damage from erosion,” the draft CZMP said.
The second precinct is called the Recreational and Urban Precinct which covers those beaches and coast that are more intensively used for recreation, more accessible for adjacent urban land, and support more intensive urban use.
“This precinct has higher community and economic values and requires better, more numerous and more varied facilities.
“The precinct would also benefit from dune management that will improve the erosion protection provided.”
The Entrance Channel Precinct covers The Entrance Channel, including the dynamic sand bars within it …”is affected by catchment inputs, Tuggerah Lake mixing and currents, and tidal currents, in addition to the waves, currents and water levels of the open coast.
“This makes the channel and sand bars highly variable and complex, requiring a different management approach from the adjacent coastline”.
Finally, the Natural Coast Precinct covers the undeveloped and natural landscapes along the coastline which support higher ecological values and the scenic value of the entire coast.
“Management actions in this precinct are aimed at maintaining and rehabilitating the natural habitat and landscapes and reducing anthropogenic impacts including sympathetic low-key recreational facilities.”
The CZMP includes a continuing role for the Tuggerah Lakes Estuary, Coastline and Floodplain Management Committee and maintains a Coastal Zone Management coordinator’s role.
Actions listed in the plan include the development of a monitoring program for sites at high risk of land slip and geotechnical hazard by June, particularly at Cabbage Tree Harbour, behind Bateau Bay and behind Blue Bay.
The monitoring program could involve drilling boreholes and installing inclinometers to detect land movement, and piezometers to detect groundwater depth and flows to provide a warning of likely landslip.
Another action is to undertake an options feasibility study for each Hot Spot “to determine the action required to manage the existing coastal erosion risk.
“Following the storms in June 2016, Hot Spot beaches may be at or below the sand volume buffer required to protect existing land and properties from a subsequent erosion event.
“That is, the trigger for more decisive action at some or all of the Hot Spots may have been breached.
“The breaching of a trigger requires that an economic cost benefit analysis and funding model be completed to identify a site-specific risk management action that is financially and technically viable.
“The Option Study should be promptly followed by sourcing the appropriate approvals, funding, etc to implement the preferred action before the remaining sand buffer is breached and irrevocable damage to land and assets occurs,” it said.
The plan also undertakes to review the structural integrity of The Entrance seawall by 2018 and schedule structural upgrades as necessary.
Where feasible, the plan would require Central Coast Council to establish conservation agreements for high value ecological communities in coastal reserves, by June 2021 and to liaise with the local Aboriginal community to determine the information to be used in interpretative signage along the coast, by June 2021.

Website, May 22
Yourvoiceourcoast, Draft Wyong Coastal Zone Management Plan