THE controversial Coastal Protection Act finally passed through the NSW Upper House on Wednesday night after a long and volatile passage.
While not answering all the issues raised throughout the debates, the Bill basically allows property owners affected by erosion to employ measures to protect their homes, as long as there are no negative consequences to neighbouring properties. After that it gets a lot more complicated.
State Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, Frank Sartor, welcomed the Bill’s passage.
“This Act improves how coastal erosion risks are managed in NSW and provides additional options for landowners to protect their property,” Mr Sartor said.
“The Act is a significant step in strengthening our management of coastal erosion in this State.
“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.”
Mr Sartor’s Coalition counterpart, Catherine Cusack, was less happy, describing it as a ‘grubby deal’ between Labor and the Greens that has rendered the coastline defenceless against a massive loss of public and private property.
“It is a travesty the Keneally Labor Government has sided with the Greens and passed new laws that block all residents on the whole NSW coastline from sensible measures to protect their property,” she said.
“The Keneally Labor Government has failed to show leadership in standing up to the Greens on this issue.”
However, Greens MLC Ian Cohen was guardedly optimistic and described the amended legislation as a good start.