October 30 - November 5, 2022: Issue 560


$86,668 For northern beaches scoping study allocated under the Coastal Management Program

Technical support and $86,668 in funding from the NSW Government will enable Northern Beaches Council to better understand the northern beaches open coast and lagoons and develop a Coastal Management Program (CMP). This will be the fifth year and/or time the NBC has been allocated grant funds under the CMP. The announcement was made on Thursday, 20th of October 2022.

The NSW Government’s Coastal Management Program’s primary objective is to provide support to local councils to manage the risks from coastal hazards such as coastal erosion. A secondary objective of the Program is to restore degraded coastal habitats. 

The Coastal Management Program is administered by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH). 

Local councils have received grants under the scheme since 2010. 

The first for the NBC was the 2016 grant for Collaroy–Narrabeen protective works (fund the development of a distribution analysis of costs and benefits among the various parties for construction of protective works along Collaroy–Narrabeen beach), when the just amalgamated LGA (March 2016) was under administration.

Minister for Local Government Wendy Tuckerman said CMPs are vital to secure the future of the State’s coastal and estuarine environment.

“It’s great the NSW Government is partnering with Northern Beaches Council on planning their future coastal management,” Mrs Tuckerman said. 

“The CMP is the long-term strategy to guide Council and other stakeholders in the management of this important coastal area which has recreational and ecological significance for the region,” she said.

“The northern beaches open coast stretches from Shelley Beach at Manly in the south, to Palm Beach in the north and features four lagoons. This open coast location also has significant recreational and ecological values to protect.”

Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan said the funding was recognition of the role of local and state governments in responding to our changing climate and environment.

“We have already completed a significant body of work to assist us in managing all of our beaches. Preparation of a CMP for hotspot locations of Collaroy-Narrabeen, Fishermans Beach, Bilgola and Mona Vale Basin is well under way,” Mr Regan said.

“This funding will help us build upon that work and ensure all other beaches in our local government area have a CMP in place.”

The funding is the fifth time the Northern Beaches Council has been allocated support under the Coastal and estuary management grants scheme.

In 2021 Northern Beaches Council was allocated funding for three projects:

  • Curl Curl coastal dune restoration - Implementation
  • Dee Why dunes restoration and weed control - Implementation
  • North Narrabeen dune restoration - Implementation

Details of those projects were:

Curl Curl coastal dune restoration

Aerial imagery of the northern most sand dune on Curl Curl Beach indicates it is the fastest landward moving dune on the northern beaches. Current impacts are the inundation of 7000 square metres of coastal vegetation and accelerated sedimentation of Curl Curl Lagoon.

This project aims to install dune-forming coir meshed fences to reduce pedestrian access and wind movement of the sand, while maintaining good access to the beach. Sand will be scraped to shape the dune and reduce sand near the mouth of the lagoon, 6000 native coastal species will be planted with 200 coir logs and 1000 tree guards to better protect the plants.

Dee Why dunes restoration and weed control

This project comprises restoration and protection of a coastal dune system at Dee Why Beach. The site is approximately 80 hectares and aims to control and remove widespread invasive weeds, revegetate the site with suitable endemic species, enhance wildlife habitat and corridor connections to the Dee Why Lagoon Wildlife Refuge and improve public recreational experiences.

North Narrabeen dune restoration

This project aims to stabilise the northern and largest dune bay at North Narrabeen Beach. The main elements of this project will be approximately 700 metres of dune fencing, coir mesh and 100 coir logs to reduce sand movement and 4000 plants following minor dune shaping/scraping. This project aims to reduce landward sand inundation into the Narrabeen Lagoon entrance.

In 2018 there were two grants:

  • Northern Beaches Council coastal zone emergency action subplan Planning and;
  • Northern Beaches Council open coast and lagoons scoping study Planning

Northern Beaches Council coastal zone emergency action subplan Planning: 

Northern Beaches Council coastal zone emergency action subplan

This project aims to improve council preparedness and response to coastal storms through the preparation of a coastal zone emergency action subplan (CZEAS) for the Northern Beaches.

The CZEAS will outline the roles and responsibilities of Northern Beaches Council and other public authorities in response to emergencies immediately preceding or during periods of beach erosion, coastal inundation and cliff instability that occur through storm activity or an extreme or irregular event.

Northern Beaches Council open coast and lagoons scoping study Planning:

Northern Beaches Council open coast and lagoons scoping study

This project will develop a scoping study for Northern Beaches open coast and lagoons, as the first step towards development of coastal management programs (CMPs). A review of current coastal management arrangements will determine gaps, develop the scope and priorities.

This scoping study will cover; strategic context, CMP scope, first-pass risk assessment, a stakeholder and community engagement strategy, preliminary business case, studies needed for stages 2 and 3 and a time frame and cost for moving forward to prepare one or more CMP.

In 2017:

Collaroy–Narrabeen Beach coastal protection works

The June 2016 storm demonstrated that properties along Collaroy–Narrabeen Beach are under imminent threat of damage. This requires coastal protection works to be implemented in a coordinated manner. The proposed works are identified as suitable and desirable in the coastal zone management plan for Collaroy–Narrabeen Beach and Fishermans Beach and extend a length of 1.29 kilometres from South Narrabeen Beach to Collaroy Beach. They will provide effective protection to public and private assets from coastal storms.

The project benefits include ensuring public safety and preventing risks to human life, as well as maintaining public access, amenity and use of the beach and foreshore. These works will also significantly reduce the reliance on emergency response during and after coastal storms.

In 2016:

Northern Beaches Council - Collaroy–Narrabeen protective works benefit distribution analysis

This project will fund the development of a distribution analysis of costs and benefits among the various parties for construction of protective works along Collaroy–Narrabeen beach. Development along Collaroy–Narrabeen beach is classified as the most at risk in New South Wales from coastal processes. This site was subjected to coastal erosion during the June 2016 East Coast Low and significant impacts occurred to private and public properties.

Before 2016 Grants included:


Manly Council - Fairy Bower seawall remediation and protection project Manly NSW

Fairy Bower seawall forms part of a continuous seawall stretching along Manly Ocean Beach to Shelly Beach Manly. The Fairy Bower seawall is in need of upgrade to address immediate risk of failure of the toe section and to increase the height of the seawall crest to address wave overtopping. The project involves detailed design and construction work to raise the seawall crest, add a wave return parapet and provide structural support to the base of the seawall and the Manly Ocean outfall sewer contained within the seawall.

Pittwater Council - Pittwater Local Government Area coastal dunes restoration

The coastal dunes in the Pittwater local government area are continually degraded and destabilised as a result of invasive weed species outcompeting native species. In order to prevent or minimise future environmental and asset damage, Council proposes to upgrade or replace fencing where appropriate to delineate access pathways for the public and revegetate a large proportion of the Pittwater coastal dunes through weed eradication and plant propagation of indigenous coastal fore dune species.


Manly Shire Council - Fairy Bower seawall remediation design

The Marine Parade seawall along the Fairy Bower section of Manly Ocean Beach has been identified as being at immediate risk of geotechnical failure, due to undermining by wave action and overtopping during storm events. Wave overtopping constitutes a hazard to pedestrians and buildings behind the seawall crest. This section of Marine Parade is highly utilised by locals and visitors to Shelley Beach, including international tourists. It is also a popular access point for swimming and snorkelling in the adjacent Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve.

To identify remedial options and provide detailed cost analysis for seawall remediation, a site-specific study will be required. The proposed project will address public safety risks. It essentially involves design work, for example, conceptual and preliminary design for the seawall remediation, including physical model testing for wave overtopping, assessment of remediation options and scoping design.

Pittwater Council - Mona Vale beach dune restoration – Stage 2

The dunes at Mona Vale beach are continually windblown resulting in dune creep and sand deposits in the adjacent reserve. In order to prevent or minimise future environmental damage, Council will remove all existing fencing to the dune south of the Surf Life Saving Club to the end of Surfview Rd and reshape the dune. Fencing will then be upgraded or replaced as appropriate and the dune revegetated.


Pittwater Council - North Avalon Beach dune restoration

The frontal dune at North Avalon Beach has blown out and moved off the beach and up into the adjacent reserve. The problem has been exacerbated by removal of dune fencing by local surfers and loss of vegetation as well as the major access track onto the beach, funnelling sand up onto the reserve. Council will push the sand on the reserve back onto the dune, re-orientate the access track, construct dune fencing to all edges and revegetate the affected area through plant propagation and dense planting of the indigenous coastal foredune wattle scrub association vegetation.

Mona Vale Beach dune restoration

The dunes at Mona Vale Beach are continually windblown, resulting in sand deposits in the adjacent reserve. The council proposes to remove all existing fencing to the dune north of the Surf Life Saving Club and reshape the dune. Fencing will then be upgraded or replaced as appropriate and the dune revegetated, through a plant propagation and dense planting of the indigenous coastal foredune species. Additionally, a timber board accessway will be installed to encourage appropriate pedestrian access.

Currawong Reserve seawall improvements

Currawong Reserve is a popular Pittwater Council reserve used for launching small boats, walking and dog exercise. The reserve covers an area of approximately 2000 square metres and a 100-metre stretch of foreshore to Pittwater Estuary. In 1992-93, the council undertook foreshore stabilisation works of 65 metres of the embankment of Currawong Reserve employing environmentally friendly seawall guidelines. This left a section of approximately 20 m of traditional vertical seawall and 20 metres of informal seawall constructed predominantly of brickbats which poses a significant hazard to public safety and leaves the foreshore susceptible to erosion. Council is now proposing to rebuild and improve the section of eroding foreshore and one poorly constructed boat ramp and replace them with an improved and environmentally friendly structure which matches the southern section of the seawall. This will remove the existing hazard, restore the amenity of the area, provide habitat for marine life and ensure the seawall can withstand future frequent storms and wave impact.


Manly Council 

Coastal zone management plan for Manly Ocean Beach

Cabbage Tree Bay management plan was adopted in 2000 and Manly Ocean Beach Coastline Management Plan and Emergency Action Plan in 2008. This project will revise these 2 plans and consolidate them into one coastal zone management plan. The new plan will include an emergency action sub plan, property risk and response categorisation, options for managing coastal hazards and ecosystem health, an entrance management policy for Manly Lagoon and community use and heritage conservation measures.

Estuary health assessment for Middle Harbour along the foreshores of Manly local government area

This project is an action in the adopted Clontarf/Bantry estuary management plan The estuary health assessment will include a description of:

  • the components of the estuarine ecosystem
  • the key biological, physical and chemical processes and interactions
  • the key pressures impacting on estuarine processes and estuary health.

Estuary hazards study for Clontarf and Bantry Bay area

This estuary hazard study will assess beach erosion, shoreline recession, coastal inundation, and slope and cliff instability. It will consider environmental, public safety and access and planning impacts including the possible loss of aquatic and riparian vegetation. It will also assess the impacts of projected sea level rise on estuarine habitats, stormwater systems and public access and critical infrastructure.

Pittwater Council

Coastal zone management plan for Pittwater beaches

This project will develop coastal zone management plans for beaches on the open coastline, that is, Palm, Whale, Avalon, Turimetta, Warriewood, Mona Vale, Bungan, Newport and Mackerel beaches. These iconic beaches provide regional recreational opportunities for the broader Sydney metropolitan area and are international tourist destinations in their own right. Although still featuring significant elements of natural beach systems, these beaches also demonstrate degradation from the ongoing and increasing pressures of coastal development and intensive recreational use. Coastal zone management plans for these beaches will help to ensure the sustainable use and development of their highly valued coastal resources.

Adaptive response of Pittwater estuarine shores to sea level rise

A rising sea level is likely to have profound impacts on low lying lands in coastal environments, in particular the shorelines and intertidal zones of estuaries. Seagrass meadows, mudflats, mangrove wetlands and saltmarshes are ecosystems that are highly sensitive to changes in tidal range and as such will be vulnerable to sea level rise impacts. Much public infrastructure and urban development is located on coastal floodplains and estuarine foreshores that will increasingly be threatened by sea level rise impacts, including inundation, erosion and saline intrusion.

This project will help Council and the community to appreciate ways in which the foreshores and low lying lands around Pittwater might respond to sea level rise and the adaptation provisions and measures that may need to be considered to sustain vulnerable estuarine ecosystems and increase the resilience of threatened urban communities.

Defining the creek systems of the Pittwater Estuary catchment: stage 1

This project will set up a clear defined outline of the location of the creek systems in the catchments that drain into Pittwater Estuary. This project is stage 1, and relates to the identification, photo logging and mapping of all the creeks that drain into the Pittwater Estuary to determine their location, level of disturbance, the reaches of the creek, the riparian width of the creek and in-stream habitat.


Manly Council

Manly Lagoon estuary health improvement – sediment interception program

Manly Lagoon receives inflows from 3 creeks (Manly, Burnt Bridge and Brookvale creeks). The lagoon is now 10% of its original size and is considered one of the most polluted recreational waterways on the east-coast of Australia. It suffers from high levels of sediment pollution and eutrophication. Swimming, boating and fishing are prohibited due to the poor water quality. The stormwater system transports high levels of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus to the lagoon, with serious implications for estuary health. This project is for the construction of a 180 cubic metre sediment basin within a major tributary of the lagoon, Burnt Bridge Creek at Manly West Park, Balgowlah, as part of a sediment and organic matter interception program to improve estuary health and water quality in the lagoon. Further, signs will be erected around the basin to educate the public and community on stormwater education in the Creek's catchment.

Mosman Municipal Council

Mosman coastal zone management plan

This project will establish a coastal zone management plan for the Mosman local government area. Mosman has a proportionally high level of coastline compared to land area and some important locations that are threatened by coastal processes and sea level rise. These areas include iconic beaches such as at Balmoral, Chinaman's Beach and Clifton Gardens, but also important corridors for transport (the Spit) as well as numerous rocky bays which hold important habitat and amenity value. Council seeks to quantify the existing ecology and infrastructure within the coastal zone and through modelling of existing and future scenarios, create a management plan for the coastal zone advocating a risk-based management approach to coastal assets and habitats.

Pittwater Council

Coastal zone management plans for Bilgola Beach and Mona Vale Basin Beach

The Pittwater local government area includes 2 designated 'hot spot' beaches. The designated beaches are Bilgola Beach and Mona Vale Basin Beach, both of which are popular recreational beaches with existing residential development located within the foredune area. Pittwater Council is required to prepare coastal zone management plans for each of these beaches within 12 months.

Impacts of climate change on estuarine wetland and migratory waterbirds in the Pittwater Estuary

This project will undertake surveys, mapping and modelling to identify important migratory and estuarine waterbird populations and habitat that may be lost or re-established as a result of climate change. Impacts considered include sea level rise scenarios, altered inundation regimes and altered hydrodynamic flows. This project aims to:

  • increase the baseline data on current estuarine waterbird species distribution and abundance
  • improve protocols for monitoring estuarine waterbirds as indicators of climate change
  • examine climate change impacts on estuarine waterbird habitats using GIS, LIDAR and sea level rise mapping as per the draft Pittwater foreshore floodplain - mapping of sea level rise impacts report
  • further develop adaptive actions for incorporation into the Pittwater Estuary management plan.

The project will fulfil data gaps identified to enable Pittwater Council to manage migratory bird habitat within the Pittwater Estuary into the future.

Urban sedimentation and pollution audit in the Pittwater Estuary: stage 1

Careel Creek and Mona Vale Main Drain are tributaries of Pittwater Estuary, they drain urban, commercial and industrial lands within the suburbs of Avalon, North Avalon, Bilgola Plateau, Mona Vale and Bayview. Careel Creek is within the Careel Creek catchment, around 4.5 square kilometres and Mona Vale Main Drain is within the Winnerremy Bay Catchment, around 5.2 square kilometres (which also drains Cahill Creek).

The Pittwater Estuary management plan has identified these particular catchments as problematic in terms of urban pollution and sediment runoff. This project will undertake an urban pollution and sediment runoff audit for both catchments. The audit shall include assessing activities and land uses which constitute potential sources of pollution. Water quality monitoring, sediment sampling, detailed mapping and site inspections will also be carried out. The audit will prioritise areas of greatest impact and provide key hot spots to focus mitigation measures on, to reduce sediment and pollution discharges into Pittwater Estuary.

Coastal management program grants 2010-11

Manly Shire Council - Establishing hazard lines to flood and predicted Sea level Rise in Manly LGA $81,500


Councils can apply for funding at any time during the financial year to undertake planning and studies and funding provided at a 2:1 ratio, with $2 contributed from the state government for every $1 provided by the council.

There are currently 5 funding streams under the NSW Government's Coastal and Estuary Grants Program. One stream is for planning and studies, while the other 4 are to implement works identified in certified coastal or estuary management programs.

More information about the Coastal and Estuary grants program can be found here: https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/water/coasts/coastal-and-estuary-grants


Coastal Area: the average area of each council area within the Coastal Management SEPP is 125km2 ( range <1 to 1024km2). Regional councils fill the top ten places by area. Largest council is Mid-Coast (1,024k2), largest metropolitan council is Northern Beaches (74km2).

Population Change: Councils are projected to have on average 33% population growth (2011 to 2036). The top ten growth councils (>50% growth) are all in the Greater Sydney Region.


Announced in 2014, the coastal reforms promised to deliver a modern, coherent coastal management framework that was responsive to current needs and future challenges. The reforms were to: 

  • deliver new legislation 
  • minimise exposure to risk and liability 
  • allow communities to manage legacy issues and support local decision making 
  • establish a more sustainable funding approach 
  • enshrine public access to beaches
  • provide for the protection and conservation of the coastal environment

The reforms aimed to create a new management framework that would enable coastal councils and communities to: 

  • protect and enhance the social, economic and environmental values of the coast 
  • ensure ongoing use and enjoyment of our beaches and foreshores 
  • plan for and respond to current and future risk from coastal hazards and threats to coastal environments 
  • increase our resilience to an uncertain climate future

In 2016 the NSW Government announced $83.6 million over five years towards the management of the NSW coast. A joint initiative of the Department of Planning and Environment and the Office of Environment and Heritage, the new coastal management framework commenced in April 2018. 

The new framework comprises: 

  • Coastal Management Act 2016 
  • Coastal Management SEPP 
  • NSW Coastal Council 
  • NSW Coastal Management Manual 
  • Coastal Management Programs 
  • Grants and technical assistant

The Coastal Management Act commenced on 3 April 2018. This replaces the old Coastal Protection Act 1979. The Coastal Management Act 2016 establishes a new strategic framework and clear objectives for managing coastal issues in NSW. It promotes strategic and integrated management, use and development of the coast for the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of the people of NSW.

The objects of this Act are to manage the coastal environment of New South Wales in a manner consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development for the social, cultural and economic well-being of the people of the State, and in particular—

(a)  to protect and enhance natural coastal processes and coastal environmental values including natural character, scenic value, biological diversity and ecosystem integrity and resilience, and

(b)  to support the social and cultural values of the coastal zone and maintain public access, amenity, use and safety, and

(c)  to acknowledge Aboriginal peoples’ spiritual, social, customary and economic use of the coastal zone, and

(d)  to recognise the coastal zone as a vital economic zone and to support sustainable coastal economies, and

(e)  to facilitate ecologically sustainable development in the coastal zone and promote sustainable land use planning decision-making, and

(f)  to mitigate current and future risks from coastal hazards, taking into account the effects of climate change, and

(g)  to recognise that the local and regional scale effects of coastal processes, and the inherently ambulatory and dynamic nature of the shoreline, may result in the loss of coastal land to the sea (including estuaries and other arms of the sea), and to manage coastal use and development accordingly, and

(h)  to promote integrated and co-ordinated coastal planning, management and reporting, and

(i)  to encourage and promote plans and strategies to improve the resilience of coastal assets to the impacts of an uncertain climate future including impacts of extreme storm events, and

(j)  to ensure co-ordination of the policies and activities of government and public authorities relating to the coastal zone and to facilitate the proper integration of their management activities, and

(k)  to support public participation in coastal management and planning and greater public awareness, education and understanding of coastal processes and management actions, and

(l)  to facilitate the identification of land in the coastal zone for acquisition by public or local authorities in order to promote the protection, enhancement, maintenance and restoration of the environment of the coastal zone, and

(m)  to support the objects of the Marine Estate Management Act 2014.

The Coastal Management Act Defines the coastal zone, comprising four coastal management areas: 

  • coastal wetlands and littoral rainforests 
  • coastal vulnerability 
  • coastal environment 
  • coastal use 

Management objectives specific to each of these management areas are established by the CM Act

The Coastal Management SEPP updates and consolidates into one integrated policy: 

  • SEPP 14 (Coastal Wetlands) 
  • SEPP 26 (Littoral Rainforests) 
  • SEPP 71 (Coastal Protection) and 
  • clause 5.5. of the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. 

This Maps the coastal zone as a combination of the management areas

The NSW Coastal Council is appointed to provide advice to the Minister on coastal issues The Council has the following functions: 

  • provides advice to the Minister relating to: 
    • the Minister’s functions under the Act 
    • the compliance by local councils with the Act and the manual in preparing and reviewing CMPs, and 
    • performance audits of local councils’ CMPs 
    • advice to other public authorities on coastal management matters • any other functions under the Act

Coastal Management Manual

The manual provides guidance to local councils, public authorities and communities about how to implement the new coastal management framework It outlines a step by step process for how to prepare a CMP and integrate coastal management with local councils’ other strategic and land use planning processes Adopts a five stage risk management process

Part A provides an introduction and mandatory requirements for a CMP:

  • the numbered paragraphs of Part A are mandatory requirements within the meaning of section 21(2) of the CM Act Part B provides guidance for preparing and implementing a CMP 
  • 5 parts covering each stage in the risk management process Additional guidance is also provided in a web based toolkit

The purpose of a coastal management program is to ‘set the long-term strategy for the coordinated management of land within the coastal zone’ 

The focus of a program is to achieve the objectives of the Coastal Management Act CMPs are prepared by local councils in consultation with their communities and relevant public authorities

A CMP may be developed for the whole, or any part, of the coastal zone A CMP may consider: 

  • a range of timeframes and planning horizons 
  • a range of management issues, actions and funding mechanisms 
  • population growth and land use changes 
  • current and future risks to assets and threats to the environment (incl. climate change) 
  • any planned amendments to the mapping of coastal management areas

CMPs identify: 

  • key management issues 
  • actions to be implemented by council and other public authorities 
  • how and when actions will be implemented 
  • the costs and cost-sharing arrangements to enable implementation

Before adopting a CMP, a local council must consult with: 

  • the community 
  • other councils in shared estuary system or sediment compartment 
  • other public authorities (where required) 
  • a draft CMP must be exhibited for a minimum period of 28 days. 

A CMP is then certified and published in the Gazette Actions in a CMP are implemented through the Integrated Planning and Reporting (IP&R) framework and land use planning system

As of 2018 Funding assistance is available to help councils to both prepare and implement CMPs 

  • $9.5 million for preparation of CMPs to help councils to transition to the new arrangements, including additional technical studies. 
  • $63.2 million for implementation of CMPs

Visit Coastal management framework: https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/water/coasts/coastal-management/framework 

Coastal and estuary management grants awarded and project summaries

Coastal and estuary management grants are awarded each year: https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/water/coasts/coastal-and-estuary-grants/grants-awarded#manlylagoonsediment 

Coastal management program grants 2010-11: https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/coasts/coastalmgmtgrants2010to11.htm 

Manly Cove CMPlan_ Final Report – November 2011: http://www.manlycouncil.info/IgnitionSuite/uploads/docs/Manly%20Cove%20CZMPlan_Final%20Report.pdf?DocumentID=6177 

Coastal Councils strategic plan 2010 – 2014, Sydney coastal councils group inc.: https://www.sydneycoastalcouncils.com.au/sites/default/files/strategicplan2010-2014.pdf