Proposed reforms to further protect NSW coastlines

The Department of Planning and Environment is seeking community feedback on a draft Coastal Management policy that will protect our coastlines by ensuring appropriate development on the ever-changing coastal environment.

The proposed policy is a key element of the NSW Government’s coastal reforms and aims to improve the planning system by making it easier to use and understand.

“The policy is part of the commitment to ensuring appropriate coastal development. We need to protect our coastlines and maintain our prized public access to beaches and foreshore areas. We want to see thriving, resilient communities living, working and playing on a healthy coast both now and into the future,” the spokesperson said.

“It will also better empower and enable coastal communities to effectively respond to existing and emerging coastal challenges and opportunities, similar to what we saw earlier this year with the fierce East Coast low.

“There will be a public exhibition period for six weeks and we encourage members of the community to give us feedback on the proposed policy, as ultimately any changes impact them and we want to hear what they have to say.”

The policy will ensure planning objectives outlined in the Coastal Management Act are implemented and will help communities plan for and mitigate risks from coastal hazards, such as the East Coast Lows that caused extensive damage up and down the coast earlier this year.

Key features of the proposed State policy include:

  • Defining four coastal management areas that will make up the coastal zone
  • Applying appropriate development controls to each of these coastal management areas to encourage appropriate development, and to protect the important environmental and social values of the coast.

The policy will replace and consolidate three existing State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPP) that relate to coastal management in NSW, which is part of ongoing work to simplify the planning system.

The draft policy was prepared with input from coastal experts and reflects feedback received from stakeholders including councils, other NSW Government agencies, industry and the community on the Explanation of Intended Effect for the policy, which was exhibited from 13 November 2015 to 29 February 2016.

Submissions can be made until 23 December 2016.

Community information sessions will be held at various locations along the NSW coast. Further information, including registering for these sessions, can be found at

The proposed new SEPP can be viewed at:

Submissions can be made:

Department of Planning and Environment media contact: (02) 9274 6128