Taking steps to preserve our coastline – Wollongong

Ocean pools, postcard views, native animals and plants, shared pathways, places for family gatherings and spots to connect with country. These are a few of the community’s favourite things of the Wollongong coastline, and that’s what Council is looking to protect through the development of a Wollongong Coastal Management Program (CMP).

The long-term plan will identify current and future issues along our coastline, coastal creeks and estuaries, and detail actions to address them in partnership with residents, the Aboriginal community, community groups and the NSW Government.

The development of a CMP requires a phased approach as the complex and detailed document is broken into stages, each of which require research, community engagement and targeted consultation with key stakeholders. At its meeting on 20 March, Council endorsed the Wollongong Coastal Management Program Scoping Study, allowing work to start on Stage 2 of the project.

Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said having a certified CMP will allow Council to access funding for coastal projects and ensure everyone knows who is responsible for actions that care for Wollongong’s coastline.

“We live on a narrow coastline uniquely wedged between the ocean and escarpment with geotechnical dynamics which can be both benign and beautiful but as we know challenging at times. We need to be strategic and proactive in managing our coastal environment, said Cr Bradbery.

“Development of a CMP is a five-stage process with the first being to identify the scope.”

“In Stage 1, we asked the community what they value about our coastline, how they use it and the challenges they see now and in the future. We spoke to 630 stakeholders at pop-up stalls, workshops, interviews, meetings and by way of an online survey, interactive map, written submissions, and online stories.

“Our residents told us what is important to them about the coast – facilities, social connections, natural environmental and the recreational opportunities it offers. They also flagged several coastal threats that they are concerned about, these include climate change, population growth, community safety, access to quality infrastructure and facilities, and the degradation of cultural items, places and assets.

“We also spoke with stakeholders from Aboriginal communities to inform, engage, build trust, and connect. This will form a building block for deeper engagement as the project progresses.

Cr Bradbery said that the completion of the Scoping Study allows Council to move on with the remaining stages of the project.

Stage 2 will involve a series of studies to obtain new data and update Council’s knowledge base.

To stay informed as the Wollongong CMP progresses, and be involved in future engagement opportunities, visit https://our.wollongong.nsw.gov.au/cmp

This project was supported by the NSW Government’s Coastal and Estuary Management Program.

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