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New guidelines to help manage coastal erosion problems

THE NSW government is looking at mapping of hazardous areas on the coast to minimise the problems of beach erosion such as what was experienced at Kingscliff last year.

According to Tweed MP Geoff Provest, the new legislation would identify areas that were susceptible to coastal erosion and allow private landowners to take measures to mitigate erosion.

Those measures can include the installation of large sand bags, such as the ones used to reduce erosion at Kingscliff.

"Before it was individual councils who were making up their own minds on coastal hazards and everyone was different," Mr Provest said.

Mr Provest said this legislation would protect the interest of private landowners and provide some uniformity.

"Ongoing consultation with local communities and councils will take place in a process that integrates the bill with changes to the planning system and a review of the Local Government Act," Mr Provest said.

"The following reforms are the first steps in the process.

"Instead of stigmatising land with hazard category labels, councils will be supported so that they can provide clear factual information about current and future coastal hazards.

"As part of a two-stage process of reform the Government will develop a state-wide hazard mapping methodology for councils to use that provides consistent coastal hazard mapping."

The plan has its critics with Port Macquarie MP Greg Piper calling it a "political fix".

"This bill is clearly a political fix, and a poor one at that-a poor one for the Tweed and a poor one for the Central Coast," Mr Piper said in parliament on Wednesday.

"This bill is short-sighted and incompetent and I therefore cannot support it."

Mr Piper said the bill was a "dog's breakfast".

"It appears to have little to do with good science and planning and everything to do with short-term politics."

Topics:  coastal erosion, guidelines, kingscliff



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