Coastal and Estuary Management
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Coastal and Estuary Management

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We have approximately 60km of coastline, extending from Garie Beach in the north to Windang Beach in the south.  About half of this area consists of cliffs and headlands while the rest is beaches and dunes backed by gentler sloping land.  A number of creeks and lagoons dissect the coastline, and the largest, Lake Illawarra, is located at the southern-most end.  A variety of land uses, from national parks and environmental protection, to recreational and community use, and to residential and industrial development, occur through this area.  This can sometimes cause management conflicts with the area’s environmental values.  Council is taking a strategic approach to address these management issues, using the estuary and coastal zone management framework established by the NSW Government.

The issues facing our coast, including the hazards arising from extreme weather events, under the current and future climate, are being addressed through the development of a Coastal Zone Management Plan.  A draft Wollongong Coastal Zone Management Plan was completed prior to the NSW Government announcing a review of the policy framework guiding their preparation.  Council is awaiting the completion of the NSW Coastal Reform process to take further action on progressing the draft Wollongong Coastal Zone Management Plan.

Dune Management Program

One of the key actions identified in the draft Wollongong Coastal Zone Management Plan was the preparation of a Dune Management Strategy.  In view of the pressing need for such a strategy, Council resolved to proceed with developing the strategy. The final Strategy was adopted by Council on 24 March 2014 and work is currently being undertaken as recommended in the Strategy.

Estuary Management Program


Under the NSW Estuary Management Policy, local councils are responsible for preparing and implementing detailed management plans for estuaries in their jurisdiction. We have developed two Estuary Management Plans to cover fourteen estuaries in Wollongong.

Lake Illawarra


Wollongong City Council, together with Shellharbour Council, have management responsibility for Lake Illawarra.  Both councils are working together under the guidance of the Lake Illawarra Estuary Management Committee to develop a Coastal Management Program for the lake and its catchment.
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