The NSW Government has agreed to certify the Greater Taree Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) prepared by council, subject to minor amendments, but has not supported the additional idea to construct a rock revetment wall at Old Bar.
Environment Minister Rob Stokes certified the plan following examination of all available documents including a social and economic impacts study into the potential wall option by the NSW Coastal Panel and advice from the Office the Environment and Heritage.
“I congratulate Greater Taree City Council for their plan and am pleased that this decision will help to provide certainty in order for the community to plan for the future,” Mr Stokes said. “This decision is based on thorough analysis of the long term costs and benefits to the local community.”
“The Greater Taree City Council’s CZMP, prepared by Worley Parsons, argued that the need to relocate from some sections of the region’s coastline including Old Bar was the preferable way to manage coastal erosion. Through detailed research, we know the option to construct any protection structure at Old Bar is likely to transfer the problem to future generations to deal with, which is unacceptable.”
“In addition, the cost of the revetment wall was estimated at $50 million with a lifespan limited to about 50 years, leaving the community and council with the same problem in the long term. I have asked OEH and Department of Planning and Environment to work closely with the council on developing coastal adjustment options to determine how to manage the impacts of coastal erosion on existing properties and future development,” added Mr Stokes.
Chair of the NSW Coastal Panel, Angus Gordon, said that the authority had carefully considered the CZMP through a review of the various plans, visiting the sites and meeting with senior officers of Greater Taree City Council.
“We recommended to the NSW Government that they certify the CZMP based on the 2013 plan, subject to some amendments,” Mr Gordon said. “The Greater Taree City Council can now move forward in working with OEH to make local decisions on how to best manage the coastal areas of the region.”
“A coastal zone management plan is council’s key coastal management document and must provide for matters including coastal hazards such as erosion, threats to estuary health and risks to public safety. It is important for local government to have options that work with, rather than against, the natural coastal processes and hazards at play along the NSW coastline,” added Mr Gordon.
Press Release, September 30, 2014