A 400m seawall at Lake Cathie has been given the green light from the state government.
On Friday afternoon NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes announced his endorsement of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council’s Lake Cathie Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP).
He announced his certification of the plan which will minimise the impact of weather events and protect local properties and infrastructure.
Mr Stokes said the plan, which includes the seawall, provides a practical and pragmatic approach to managing current and future risks from coastal erosion as well as providing ongoing and improved management of the area.
Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams, said the plan would protect foreshores areas while improving community access to the coastline and lake.
It would also permit for appropriate development within a sensitive coastal zone.
“This is very much in line with what the community wants,” Mrs Williams said.
“Following a detailed analysis of options, including the costs and benefits, the CZMP endorses the major strategy of installing a 400m long seawall.”
The construction of the seawall, or any detailed design, is not yet funded.
Mr Stokes said the seawall would require opportunistic sand nourishment of the beach to maintain the amenity of the area and aims to mitigate potential seawall impacts into the future.
“The sand nourishment component is linked to council’s entrance dredging strategy of Lake Cathie,” he said.
The CZMP covers 3.5kms of beach centred on Lake Cathie entrance.
The development was overseen by the council’s Coast and Estuaries sub committee, with representatives from the council, state government agencies and community groups.
Illaroo Road resident, Paul Flemming, spokesperson for Lake Cathie Coastal Residents Group, said the approval of the CZMP is a great outcome for the community.
“Community response to council’s public exhibitions does count, in this case 4,600 submissions called for a seawall and only 29 were against it,” Mr Flemming said.
“The support of one’s local MP does count. Leslie Williams support has been positive and unflagging, throughout.
“And strong media support does help. Many articles and photos communicated the case for saving Illaroo Road as the vital link in the circuit along Lake Cathie’s estuary, beach and ocean.”
Mrs Williams said she was pleased the development of the plan involved significant community engagement and praised the council for the development of a plan which clearly reflects the community’s active involvement.
Mr Stokes and Mr Williams acknowledged the support of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage which assisted the council in developing the plan.
It is pleasing to see the Coastal Zone Management Plan being finally approved by the state government and now the difficult task begins of seeking funding and detailed plans for the suggested actions contained within the plan.- Mayor, Peter Besseling
Port Macquarie-Hastings mayor Peter Besseling said he was pleased the plan had reached its next phase.
“It is pleasing to see the Coastal Zone Management Plan being finally approved by the state government and now the difficult task begins of seeking funding and detailed plans for the suggested actions contained within the plan,” Cr Besseling said.
“Coastal erosion is of particular concern in hot spots like Lake Cathie and it is recognised that there are no simple, inexpensive engineering solutions to controlling such dynamic processes.”
In the CZMP funding the seawall will be a challenge, as indicated in this extract of the plan:
“Funding for implementation of the CZMP will generally be sought from the NSW State Government’s Coastal Management Program. However funding under the Coastal Management Program alone will not be sufficient for the construction of a revetment.
“Council will investigate various funding models and will undertake engagement with prospective funding partners with a view to seeking relevant agreements to meet financial obligations for initial capital works and ongoing maintenance. The construction of the revetment will not be able to be programmed into council’s Integrated Planning and Reporting framework until satisfactory funding arrangements have been identified.
“Based on detailed design cost estimate, by Aurecon in 2015, (Lake Cathie Revetment Investigation and Design, Detailed Design Report), the capital cost of the revetment is $8.1 million.”