Coast erosion policy passed
FORTY houses have been lost to the sea in NSW since the 1940s and a further 200 will be at risk of inundation, particularly if sea levels rise.
That’s the reality of coastal erosion, which has seen the State Government’s Coastal Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill become law, passing through Parliament.
Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, Frank Sartor said the act improves how coastal erosion risks are managed and gives people more options to protect their beachfront properties.
“It is a significant step in strengthening our management of coastal erosion in this state, as a result of extensive consultation, we decided to further refine the Act,” Mr Sartor said.
“It achieves a reasonable balance between the concerns of beachfront landowners threatened by coastal erosion and the community’s continuing use and enjoyment of beaches,” he said.
Landowners can only protect their properties by lodging development applications, but will be able to sandbag in emergencies.
Other changes will allow councils to issue stop-work orders if rocks are dumped on beaches illegally.
Penalties for such offences will increase from $11,000 to $250,000 for individuals and to $500,000 for corporations.
While the act also creates an expert NSW Coastal Panel to advise on coastal management and approve temporary or permanent coastal protection works in some circumstances.
The State Government has called on councils to identify coastal erosion hotspots and prepare coastal zone management policy and emergency action plans.
The government’s focus on coastal erosion comes after the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency predicted that a sea level rise of about 1.1 metre by 2100 would erode up to 100 metres of shoreline.
It’s believed many coastal dwellers could start to feel the effects over the next 20 years and that 247,000 houses, estimated at $63 billion, could be at risk of inundation.