5-year Statutory Review on the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016

The purpose of the review is to determine whether the policy objectives of the Act remain valid and whether the terms remain appropriate for securing those objectives.

The SCCG reviewed the Consultation Paper and participated in feedback sessions hosted by LGNSW. The SCCG strongly supported the submission made by LGNSW which represents the views of Councils across NSW.

Generally, the SCCG considers that the BC Act is not achieving its objectives of no net loss of biodiversity, particularly in coastal and urban areas.

To read the full SCCG Submission see here.

New Minns Labor Government

The NSW State Elections on the 25 March 2023 resulted in a win for the Australian Labor Party. The Premier, Chris Minns, announced his government’s full Ministry which in a first for NSW comprised a frontbench of 50% women.

Key Ministers relevant to the work of the SCCG include:

  • Minister for Energy, Climate Change, Environment and Heritage – The Hon. Penny Sharpe, MLC
  • Minister for Local Government – The Hon. Ron Hoenig, MP
  • Minister for Natural Resources – The Hon. Courtney Houssos, MLC
  • Minister for Agriculture (includes Fisheries) – The Hon. Tara Moriarty, MLC
  • Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology – The Hon. Anoulack Chanthivong, MP

For the full cabinet list of Ministers see here.

SCCG Position Statement for the 2023 State Election

The upcoming State Election presents an opportune time for political parties to review and reaffirm their commitment to sustainably manage our coast. As such, we have formulated key policy positions and associated recommendations that we believe are critical to ensure the SCCG and its member Councils can continue their important role in the management of beloved coastal and estuarine environments. These key coastal management issues are:

  1. Establish a whole of government approach to climate change impacts, including coastal erosion, recession and sea level rise.
  2. Provide greater support to the delivery of Coastal Management Programs which are critical to the ensure the long-term sustainability of our coasts and estuaries.
  3. Formalise a catchment approach for our estuaries to ensure the threats to these highly valued areas are more effectively and efficiently managed now and into the future.
  4. Breakdown barriers to sand nourishment by addressing the significant impediments to Councils who are responsible for our beloved beaches.
  5. Establish a marine park for Sydney to improve the protection for marine biodiversity, ensure resilience in a changing climate, and better realise the tourism potential of marine sanctuaries.

To read our full position statement click here.

DPI Survey on Shark Mitigation at Ocean Beaches


Have your say about shark mitigation in your region!

The NSW Government has invested over $85 million until 2026 to continue rolling out successfully trialled shark mitigation technologies along the NSW coastline.

Each year, the NSW Government checks in with beach users, coastal councils and other key stakeholders to understand community sentiment and confidence in the NSW Shark Management Program.

This annual survey seeks to measure sentiments about shark mitigation approaches currently used in NSW (see current program here) and confidence in the Program which aims to reduce the risk of human-shark interactions at ocean beaches while minimising harm to sharks and other marine life.

The current Program includes:

  • SMART (Shark-Management-Alert-in-Real-Time) drumlines
  • Tagged shark listening stations
  • Drone surveillance
  • Shark meshing
  • Community education and engagement programs
  • Research
  • Partnerships with Surfing NSW and Surf Life Saving NSW

Please take 10 minutes to share your views to contribute to future decision making about shark mitigation in your region.

The survey can be found here and is open until Sunday, 19 February 2023.

Please pass this survey on to other beachgoers!

For more information visit www.sharksmart.nsw.gov.au.

Sydney Water’s 2022 Community Grants for Healthy Waterways

Sydney Water has recently launched its 2022 community grants program – with a focus on healthy waterways, including keeping our waterways clean, stormwater in a built environment and safely enjoying our local waterways.

If you know a community group that share’s Sydney Water’s vision of building healthy waterways to create a better life for today and generations to come, then refer them here for guidelines, T&Cs and a link to the application form.

Applications close 5pm, 26 August 2022.

Coastal Design Guidelines on Public Exhibition

NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) is making changes to the to the Coastal Design Guidelines to maintain healthy coastal habitats with sustainable use and development. The review is an action under the NSW Marine Estate Management Strategy 2018-2028.

The revised Coastal Design Guidelines prepared by DPE-Planning have been placed on public exhibition.

The Guidelines will inform planning proposals in the coastal zone and they should be used by anyone seeking to change local planning controls in those areas. This includes local councils, landowners and developers, and any third parties acting on their behalf.

The updated draft Guidelines also provide guidance on best practice urban design within coastal areas. They can be used by designers, architects, landscapers and home builders to support the design of projects in the coastal zone when preparing master plans or development applications.

The exhibition period is from 29 July to 9 September 2022.

For details and to provide feedback see here.

Guideline on Integrating Catchment Issues into CMPs

NSW Department of Planning and Environment has released the Coastal Management Programs and Integration with Catchment Management document, which can also be found in the Coastal Management Toolkit.

The document provides advice to councils and consultants that are preparing and implementing Coastal Management Programs that may need to consider broader catchment management objectives and actions, which reside outside the coastal zone.

Video: Sydney Water Boat Tour and Urban Plunge Program

The SCCG attended a Sydney Water Boat tour on the 30 June which showcased the role of Sydney Water in contributing to a healthy and swimmable harbour and to demonstrate the work of their waterway monitoring team.

To find out more about the day and Sydney Water’s Urban Plunge Program, watch this short video by the Sydney Water Media Team here. 

State of the Environment Report 2021

On Tuesday 19 July, Minister Plibersek released the State of the Environment (SoE) report with a chapter dedicated each to Coasts and the Marine environment.

The four main findings from the Coasts Chapter include:

  1. Coasts are a zone of concentrated biodiversity and productivity
  2. Coasts are under pressure
  3. Climate change will have profound impacts on our coast, particularly sea-level rise, and
  4. Consistent and coordinated management approaches, involving Traditional Custodians, are needed to protect our coasts.

The four main findings from the Marine Chapter include:

  1. Climate change is affecting fundamental aspects of our oceans and increasing the impact of other pressures
  2. Many Australian marine habitats are healthy, but our reefs are declining
  3. Better monitoring and marine management are needed
  4. Even the best management will not stop environmental decline if we do not address climate change and cumulative effects

The SoE report also recognised that it is essential for environmental outcomes that Indigenous people are involved in the management of land and sea country.

Excellence in the Environment Awards 2022

Entries for the Excellence in the Environment Awards 2022 are now open.

These awards aim to recognise outstanding achievements by NSW councils in managing and protecting the environment. There are 14 award categories which are open to any Councils who are members of LGNSW.

For more information about the awards and to enter online, click here.

Entries close at 5pm Wednesday 27 July 2022