Stage 1 Scoping Study for the Ballina Shire Coastline CMP

Ballina Shire’s coastline, spanning from Patches Beach in the south to Seven Mile Beach in the north, is a major asset for the LGA. This coastal zone provides a stunning natural environment, areas of cultural significance, a multitude of social and recreational benefits, and is a key contributor to the regional economy. However, the coastal zone is facing increasing pressure from coastal hazards, population growth and climate change.

Molino Stewart and Water Technology worked with Ballina Shire Council to prepare a Coastal Management Program (CMP) under the NSW Coastal Management Framework to address current and future risks and enhance the coordinated management of the coastal zone within its LGA. The CMP is an opportunity to develop a strategic, long-term approach to coastal management, and maintain the health of the coast for current and future generations. It includes extensive engagement with the local community and user groups, relevant government agencies, and develops a business case and forward program for the CMP.

The CMP Scoping Study identified a range of environmental, social and economic values provided by the coastal zone. Some of the key values included preserving the natural environment, sustaining biodiversity, maintaining the region’s scenic amenity, and providing for a variety of recreational uses. It also identified several priority stressors that impact on the environmental, social, cultural and economic values of the Ballina coastal zone. These include coastal hazards (i.e. coastal erosion, long term shoreline recession, geotechnical cliff/slope instability, and coastal inundation), water quality issues (i.e. agricultural, urban and industrial runoff from the adjacent catchment), urbanisation and land use intensification, and resource use and conflict. The impacts of many of these hazards will become more frequent and intense over future planning horizons due to the impacts of climate change and population growth.