Why do we need a Coastal Management Program?
The NSW Government requires all coastal councils in NSW to prepare Coastal Management Programs (CMP) in accordance with NSW State Government policies and guidelines. CMPs replace Coastal Zone Management Plans. The Lake Illawarra CMP will be one of the first CMPs produced under the new guidelines.
A CMP ensures that the values of the community, councils, NSW State Government, and other stakeholders are incorporated into a management plan to guide present and future actions on the lake. It aims to protect and enhance the health of the lake, with consideration to the values and threats identified by various stakeholders. Essentially, the CMP is an overarching document to coordinate efforts between different bodies to ensure the lake is preserved for the future.
Once a CMP is endorsed by the NSW State Government it will also make applying for funds for projects around the lake more likely to succeed.
Who owns the land and infrastructure around Lake Illawarra?
Various State Government agencies, as well as Wollongong City and Shellharbour City councils and private landowners currently manage land and infrastructure around Lake Illawarra. An overview is provided in our Lake Illawarra Foreshore Lands brochure [820 KB]
Prior to July 2014 the Lake Illawarra Authority (LIA) assisted in the management of the Lake Illawarra foreshore public lands and infrastructure.
Who do I call about day-to-day issues?
Any queries or concerns about day-to-day management issues in or around the lake should be directed the relevant local council or other government agency as per usual.
Wollongong City Council can be contacted on (02) 4227 7111
Shellharbour City Council can be contacted on (02) 4221 6111
Will dredging be considered as a part of the CMP?
Dredging will be considered as a part of the CMP if it is raised as a potential solution to ongoing management issues by the community. It is a complex issue, and usually only a temporary solution that can be costly to undertake.
Dredging can be used to:
- Maintain or increase the depth of channels to allow for the movement of water and watercraft;
- Provide sand and sediment for beach nourishment activities; and
- Prevent the build-up of materials such as sand that can move downstream into waterways by allowing natural transport processes to occur.
However, dredging can impact on the environment by:
- Disturbing the local environment by stirring sediment that can engulf aqua-flora such as seagrass beds;
- Stirring sediment causing increased turbidity that can result in eutrophication (algal blooms);
- Decrease water quality by releasing contaminants from the disturbed sediments;
- Increase the nutrient levels in the water that can impact on both the aqua flora and fauna, and restrict the recreational usage of the water; and
- Altering the natural equilibrium of the Lake.
Will dead seagrass (wrack) removal be considered as a part of the CMP?
The removal of wrack will be considered as a part of the management plan if it is raised as an ongoing issue by the community.
The removal of seagrass wrack was an initiative of the Lake Illawarra Authority (LIA). During their tenure, the LIA removed 50,000 tonnes of seagrass wrack between 1988 and 2011 in response to high nutrient levels causing overgrowths that upon decaying, resulted in foul odours. These maintenance works are costly, with $2.3 million spent on seagrass wrack and rubbish removal across the lifetime of the LIA.
In recent years the more frequent flushing of the lake has prevented excessive nutrient accumulation and has decreased the decomposition of seagrass and need for its removal.
How is damaged infrastructure and erosion currently being addressed?
The most recent East Coast Low storm caused some damage to infrastructure and the lake foreshore which is currently being fixed by the relevant management authorities. It is an ongoing process. You should report damaged infrastructure and/or significant new erosion to the relevant management authority (most likely your local Council).
Ongoing infrastructure requirements and erosion issues will both be considered as a part of the CZMP.
Will there be employment opportunities as a result of the CMP?
A completed CMP will make applying for funds to manage environmental factors in and around the lake likely to be more successful, meaning more projects and potentially more employment opportunities around the lake.
Will this plan consider the Lake becoming a recreational fishing haven?
Fishing is managed by DPI Fisheries. Broadly, Marine Estate Management is being considered through a separate process by the Marine Estate Management Authority.
Recommended management actions in the plan could certainly be related to fishing (recreational and/or commercial) but it would be up to DPI Fisheries and the relevant management processes to make changes to policy.
How is the West Dapto development being managed to make sure the lake isn’t adversely affected?
The West Dapto Release Area
has unique environmental challenges and physical constraints including flooding, riparian corridors, and its proximity to watercourses.
A number of development controls have been incorporated into the planning of the development including the maintenance of riparian corridors, increased flood storage areas and detention basins along major tributaries. The conservation and restoration of riparian corridors is a joint effort between Council and landowners/developers and this will assist in reducing increased sediment loads to the Lake. Other measures such as restrictions on the density of dwellings, and the implementation of stormwater devices such as primary pollutant traps, sediment basins, and bio-retention systems would also see reductions in nutrient, run-off, and sediment loads to the contributing waterways of Lake Illawarra.