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Byron Shire
May 23, 2024

Looking at Tweed coast and estuaries

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Cudgen Creek at Kingscliff. Photo supplied.

In their latest quest to find out what the community wants for the Tweed Shire, Council is seeking feedback to help inform the development of a new coastal management program to help preserve and protect the much-loved Tweed Coast and its estuaries.

A Tweed Coast and Estuaries Coastal Management Program will be progressed over the next 18 months, based on research and consultation with experts, stakeholders and community members.

The challenges faced by coast and estuaries

The management program aims to address the challenges faced by our coast and estuaries and will outline a framework to guide actions to help preserve the area for generations to come.

Council’s Manager Sustainability and Environment Jane Lofthouse said coastal management was the planned, strategic management of coastal areas which takes into account social, economic and ecological systems and values.

‘We are at the early stages of developing a Coastal Management Program (CMP) for the Tweed Coast and estuaries,’ said Ms Lofthouse. ‘This means we are building our understanding of what our community loves about the coast, what they would change and their ideas for the future.’

In 2019, a scoping study was undertaken and was the first of five stages in the CMP process. The scoping study reviewed the history of managing the coastal zone and developed a shared understanding of the current situation to identify the focus of Council’s new CMPs.

Three CMPs would be developed

The scoping study defined that a total of three CMPs would be developed for the different geographical areas of Tweed Coastal Zone: the Tweed River Estuary, the Cobaki and Terranora Broadwaters and the Tweed Coast and Coastal Estuaries.

Of these, the Tweed River Estuary CMP was completed in late 2022 and gazetted on 3 February 2023 while the Cobaki and Terranora Broadwater CMP 2011 remains active.

The NSW Government requires that the Tweed Coast and Estuaries Coastal Management Program considers risks and vulnerabilities relating to:

•beach erosion
•shoreline recession
•coastal lake or watercourse entrance instability
•coastal inundation
•coastal cliff or slope instability
•tidal inundation
•erosion and inundation of foreshores caused by tidal waters and the action of waves, including the interaction of those waters with catchment floodwaters.

Ms Lofthouse said coastal areas and estuaries were invaluable natural resources that supported diverse habitats, provide economic opportunities and offer recreational spaces for local communities.

The need for a proactive approach

‘We recognise the need for a proactive approach to coastal management and will aim to develop a robust plan that addresses the challenges and opportunities associated with our coastal areas,’ she said.

‘We are calling on local communities, businesses and residents to actively participate in providing their feedback on coastal conservation and stewardship to inform the development of this plan.

‘We want the CMP to reflect the interests of the community. This includes all those who use, care for, and rely upon our coastal areas.

‘To help us make informed decisions, it’s important to understand what the community loves about the coast, and where there might be concerns or challenges.’

How can you get involved?

Whether you’re a resident, visitor or work in these areas, we want to hear what you love about the coast, what you would change and your ideas for the future.

How you can help

You can let Council know what matters to you in a number of ways.

A community survey is open until 31 October to gather community feedback. It can be taken online, or hard copies are available from your nearest Council office.

You can drop a pin on an interactive online map and tell us more about your local spot or leave a comment.

There will also be a range of opportunities for face-to-face community consultation over the coming months. Full details will be made available on the Your Say Tweed website, Council’s online community engagement platform and promoted in the Tweed Link.

Keep up to date by following the project page at: yoursaytweed.com.au/tweedcmp.

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