Coastal damage in NSW, Australia: Concern or calm for councils and their citizens?
Additional Publication Information
While managing coastal erosion is a global issue, it raises many conflicts at the local level. In terms of human impact, it concerns damage of private and public property. This narrative investigates aspects of two key statutes that apply to New South Wales (NSW), Australia, which emerged from the wave of modern environmentalism. Before then, ‘planning’ was generally restricted to separating incompatible land-uses. The planning compass has since broadened to the natural environment and community participation. One particular matter relates to coastal damage under the broader umbrella of climate change. The NSW Government has identified fifteen coastal ‘hot spots’, relating to severe coastal damage, including Bateman’s Bay. Pursuant to statutory change, the relevant Minister may require that local councils prepare ‘Coastal Zone Management Plans’, which are currently emerging. They are not statutory planning instruments yet play a key role in a system which local authorities and local citizens must unscramble. This paper focuses on CZMPs with Bateman’s Bay as a case study. What problems do they and other instruments raise? Are they easy to interpret? How do they relate to the planning system? Is significant change needed?
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