PORT Macquarie-Hastings Council will move ahead with a Coastal Zone Management Plan for Lake Cathie that incorporates a revetment and beach nourishment as the key steps for protecting the area against coastal erosion.
The decision follows an extensive 10 week public exhibition period of the Lake Cathie Coastline Management Study Stage 2, which listed four potential management options.
Council’s Administrator Neil Porter said the volume of responses to the study documents indicates the complexities of managing the environmental and social issues associated with coastal erosion.
“Just over 4600 submissions were received during the exhibition and while all but 54 of these were proforma letters and questionnaire responses, there was a great deal of passion and justification put into the submissions,” said Mr Porter.
“All of the management options come at a significant cost and have pros and cons from an environmental and social perspective. As a decision maker though I can’t ignore the fact that the vast majority of the submissions were in favour of a revetment and beach nourishment and that recommendation was supported by the Hasting LGA Coast and Estuaries Sub-committee,” said Mr Porter.
While the decision represents a step forward in the development of a Coastal Zone Management Plan, according to Council’s Director of Development and Environment, Matt Rogers complexities in planning legislation and funding will still play a major role in this issue moving forward.
“We now have a decision on a critical element of the Management Plan but the supporting scientific data and risk assessments on coastal erosion will remain topics of debate.
“Until the Management Plan is finalised and a revetment built the affected proprieties in Lake Cathie are still subject to development controls and prohibitions that aim to manage the risk associated with coastal erosion.
“A revetment wall has been costed at $3 million, in addition there will be costs for the beach nourishment and annual maintenance costs estimated at $100,000. Legislatively we have to include funding options in the Coastal Zone Management Plan and these will consider a range of funding sources including State Government, rate payers and residents benefiting from the works,” said Mr Rogers.