19.4 C
Byron Shire
October 28, 2021

A coast in need of management

Latest News

Concerns raised over the impact of opening up to tourists

The North Coast has seen a significant rise in vaccination however, spokesperson for the Cross Border Task Force and Tweed Shire Mayor Chris Cherry has told The Echo that there are significant concerns over the impacts as people start arriving from Sydney.

Other News

#Bigbadbiomass rally at Condong sugar mill

Around 50 people gathered on Friday morning at the big fig tree near the Condong sugar mill to join the world-wide #Bigbadbiomass protest against the use of biomass to create energy and to emphasise that burning biomass is not ‘environmentally friendly’.

I’m back!

Over the past few weeks I’ve stayed out of the limelight in order to rest for the election campaign,...

Julian Assange: the name that cannot be uttered

Since the news came through I have been keeping an eye and an ear out for further reporting in...

10 point grumble

Hear hear to David Heilpern’s recent 10 point grumble, particularly points 7, 8 and 9. If the primary objective...

COVID-19 update: 5 new cases in the NNSWLHD

Northern NSW Local Health District, Acting Chief Executive, Lynne Weir, says there were five new cases of COVID-19 reported for the District to 8pm last night, 21 October.

Freedoms and rights

Whilst I agree with most of Adrian Gattenhoff’s assertions in Letters (13 October: Perrotet and Opus Dei) I urge...

Hans Lovejoy, editor

Buried within this week’s Council agenda is a suggestion from staff that Council seek a meeting with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE), and the Coastal Council ‘to discuss how the Coastal Management Process could be improved, timeframes shortened and the development of a Coastal Management Program (CMP) for Byron Shire resourced more effectively’.

It appears that the long-suffering management of perhaps the region’s most precious resource and attraction, Byron Shire’s beaches and estuaries, are not a high priority for Sydney-based bureaucrats and the Liberal-Nationals government.

Within the April 22 agenda report is a long list of ‘Issues being encountered’ to achieve an outcome, including a ‘Lack of guidance to local Councils… technical guidance… insufficient ongoing funding to coastal management within Council (both planning and reactive)…’ and, ‘ensuring government agencies have a good understanding of their role in the process’, and ‘a lack of appropriate agency staff resourcing to reflect their involvement’.

Ouch – but it goes on – there’s also: ‘Insufficient project budgets to include engagement fees to allow adequate and meaningful engagement and collaboration with cultural representatives from relevant Aboriginal organisations… a higher level communication needs to be undertaken between state, local government, and agencies (i.e. Director/CEO Working Groups)’.

‘Staff thoughts are that technical studies (such as coastal hazard assessments) would be better rolled out by the state government (in collaboration with Council) to ensure consistency in studies that cross LGA boundaries’.

Of course, but will the state government listen?

As the report rightly points out, ‘For a small coastal Council, we have a large coastline with high coastal risks to manage, and a CMP is necessary to manage current and emerging issues’.

And management is complicated. Since 2016, various legislative reforms halted/slowed progress. And again in 2016, Belongil Beach rock walls were the subject of a secret court action by wealthy landowners against Council. Unsurprisingly, the wealthy landowners got what they wanted and kept their rock structures.

Yet problems emerge when immovable structures like rock walls are erected in front of beachfront properties owned by wealthy individuals, or managed by Councils: it eventually results in no beach. 

While a CMP could, and probably should, be prepared for the entire coastal zone, the most pressing issue is, of course, the ongoing erosion of Main Beach.

There’s not much detail in the report as to how any management can be expedited, other than it is identified in the Forward Plan as Item S2.05 – ‘Continue design investigation for the modification of the coastal protection works at Main Beach, Byron Bay’.

News tips are welcome: [email protected]

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Let the scientists manage a complex coastal problem, not the politicians. Get hold of some worthy coastal management engineers. Some Byron old timers would be aware that there is a cycle of 50 to 100 years of coastal erosion and deposition. How climate change has affected this cycle may not be known, hardly by politicians.

  2. Has anybody managed to make the association between rising sea levels and the errosion of the entire East Coast ?
    Well, I am sorry to inform you, all of the coastal towns of NSW will very soon be under water , that is just a scientific fact. Nothing short of reversing Co2 pollution will have any effect on this global process. Cheers, G”)

  3. Ken !! Seriously … firstly Co2 is not a pollutant.. secondly iam sorry to inform you only that sea level rises are not 100% going to inundate coastal town’s.. Echo this type
    Of misinformation, alarmist propaganda
    Is exactly why youth eco anxiety has risen
    40 % … why because they have been brainwashed, indoctrinated more than likely
    By you Ken , Activists teachers etc…
    Ken you and Tim Flannery who also makes these irresponsible predictions and what of these predictions Ken ? ZERO ..
    Imagine having you Ken or Flannery investing
    For you on the Stock market…
    “You can’t make this up “


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Should the Northern Rivers be opening up to mines?

The question of whether or not mining should be allowed in the Northern Rivers has once again been raised and the issue is being brought to the table in the NSW Parliament.

Paid parking review on the table for Byron Shire Council

Touted as their ‘first detailed policy position ahead of the Council elections’, the Byron Independents have announced their plans to expand pay parking in ‘other towns’ like Brunswick Heads and Mullumbimby.

Community sport warms up as restrictions recede

Amid the uncertainty of COVID-19 and the winding back of public health restrictions, summer sporting codes are doing what they can to get their season underway.

Freedoms and rights

Whilst I agree with most of Adrian Gattenhoff’s assertions in Letters (13 October: Perrotet and Opus Dei) I urge him not to be fooled...