Local Government Legal

Local Government Legal prepares a regular email newsletter with legal updates on relevant court judgements and a summary and analysis of legislative changes.

October 2012 – Stage 1 Coastal Management Reforms

On 8 September 2012 the NSW State Government announced its Stage 1 Coastal Management Reforms. The main elements of the stage 1 coastal reforms are:

  • amendment of the Coastal Protection Act 1977 (see below for further detail).
  • the NSW Sea Level Rise Policy Statement 2009 (“SLR Policy Statement”) is no longer State Government policy and the Government no longer recommends that councils adopt the statewide sea level rise planning benchmarks set out in the SLR Policy Statement and other policy document (an increase above 1990 mean sea levels of 40cm by 2050 and 90cm by 2100 (“Benchmark”)). The Government explains that:
    • this gives councils the flexibility to consider coastal hazards in the context of their local circumstances.
    • in the interim, while documents are being revised as part of the reform process, reference to the Benchmarks should be taken as referring to a council’s adopted sea level rise projections.
  • the preparation of new guidelines clarifying what information councils should put on section 149 certificates relating to projected sea level rise impacts.
  • developing a guide for coastal erosion hazard mapping by councils.
  • preparing a business case for an expert advice centre proposed by the Chief Scientist and Engineer, to provide independent advice to councils.
  • the Minister for the Environment will give councils an extra 12 months to prepare their coastal zone management plans with their communities to allow time for councils to determine their potential future coastal hazards which reflect their local conditions
  • the Minister will defer certifying any further coastal zone management plans while the Government’s stage 2 reforms are developed as the Government needs to consider how these plans can better link with other legislation.
  • preparing a fact sheet for communities on the roles of the SES and councils in coastal erosion emergency management, to clarify the current arrangements.
  • the Coastal Ministerial Taskforce, supported by the Coastal Expert Panel, will continue to meet to develop stage 2 coastal erosion reforms, which will consider longer term reforms.

Note: This information is not to be relied upon as legal advice.

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