Coastal zone management

Management of the New South Wales coastal zone is guided by the New South Wales Coastal Management Framework which aims to better equip coastal communities to respond to existing and future coastal management challenges and opportunities. The framework comprises:

  • Coastal Management Act 2016
  • State Environmental Planning Policy (Coastal Management) 2018
  • New South Wales Coastal Management Manual
  • Coastal Management Programmes
  • New South Wales Coastal Council
  • Coastal and Estuary Grants Program.

The New South Wales Coastal Zone comprises four distinct areas:

  • wetlands and littoral rainforests area
  • vulnerability area
  • environment area
  • use area.

Local councils are required to prepare coastal management programs setting long-term strategies for the coordinated management of land within the coastal zone. Existing Coastal Zone Management Plans are required to transition to the new format by 2021.

The Central Coast coastline stretches from Frazer Beach in the north to Patonga in the south. Currently, Council directly implements six coastal and estuary management plans:

Additionally, Central Coast Council supports the implementation of the Lake Macquarie Estuary Management Plan (1997) and the Lower Hawkesbury Estuary Management Plan (2009).

Community input and feedback has been welcome throughout the development stage of each plan and has been vital to its success and will remain important throughout the implementation phase of these plans.

What’s involved?

The Coastline Management Study and Hazard Assessment form the basis of the Coastal Zone Management Plan. Specialist coastal process and geotechnical studies define the “Coastal Hazard Planning Zone” for 2050 and 2100 year planning periods. New maps of coastal hazards and hazard zones for Central Coast’s coastline take into account the New South Wales Government’s sea level rise policy in response to climate change.

Analysis of information about the full range of coastline management issues, natural and cultural features, environmental impacts and impacts on community safety has been considered.

How you can participate

Community consultation is crucial to long term coastal management planning. We will be seeking your experience, observations and feedback during the formal public exhibition phase of developing the Planes. Photos, stories and other information about the coast have helped build a picture of what’s important, and your comments have helped determine the types of management approaches that are acceptable. To keep up to date and be advised of when the Plans will go on exhibition sign up at

Learn more about the Coastal Zone Management in the former Wyong or former Gosford Local Government Areas:

Related Links

New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage

New South Wales Dept. of Planning & Environment

Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy

Landslide Risk Management

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Coastal Management in Northern Coastal Areas

Council has developed and implemented strategies to manage risks to people, property and the environment in our fragile and dynamic coastal zones.

Coastal Management in Southern Coastal Area

Management issues in the Southern Coastal Area include risks to public safety and built assets, pressures on coastal ecosystems, and the community’s use of the coastal zone.

Coastal erosion

Council is preparing Coastal Management Plans for the entire Central Coast coastline
Last updated : Tue 22 Sep 2020