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Council asks - What’s important about the coastline to you?

It’s well known that Byron Bay beaches are loved and revered locally and around the world.

In an effort to find out ‘what’ about the coastline is important to the Byron Shire community, Council has released a community survey that will help inform decisions on coastal hazard management.

Byron Shire Council’s executive manager environment and planning, Ray Darney, said the survey will help develop a framework for coastal management that meets the needs of the community and is technically and financially viable.

“The survey is the next step in seeking community views about what is important about the coast and how management priorities should be set. 

“Reponses will help inform Council’s Coastal Hazard Management Study for the Byron Bay Embayment, which in turn will inform our draft Coastal Zone Management Plan,” he said.

The survey has four parts that includes:

Part 1         What’s important to you about the coast?
Part 2         What should Council consider when it makes management decisions about the coast?
Part 3         What would a coastal zone management strategy look like?
Part 4         About you

“Survey responses will help Council to understand community objectives for coastal management, what defines an acceptable management approach for the community, and evaluate potential management responses for coastal hazards,” Mr Darney said.

Mr Darney said Council has engaged coastal experts to provide the technical advice about options to manage hazard and risk on the coast.

“But it is the everyday human element and locals who are passionate about the beach that we also need to hear from,” he said.

Complete the survey Council’s website from today or pick up a copy from Byron Shire Council’s head office - 70-90 Station Street Mullumbimby NSW 2482.The survey is open until 13 February 2014. Written comments are also encouraged until 28 February 2014 and submissions will be reported to Council after a workshop.

Mr Darney said there will also be an opportunity to comment on proposed management actions when a new draft Coastal Zone Management Plan is exhibited, later in 2014.

If you would like to find out more about how you can be involved in the study please go to  or contact Jill Boschman or Catherine Knight at Council on 02 6626 7126. 



On 12 October 2011, the Minister for the Environment, Robyn Parker MP, issued Council with the following Direction:

Under the provisions of section 55B of the Coastal Protection Act 1979 (the Act), I direct Byron Shire Council to submit a draft coastal zone management plan in accordance with the requirements under Part 4A of the Act for the coastline that is a beach between the south extremity of the beach within Tyagarah Nature reserve and Cape Byron, including Belongil, Main and Clarkes Beaches, Byron Bay, to the Minister administering the Act by 30 June 2013.

Council received an extension of twelve months to submit the Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) to the Minister (ie submission date is now June 2014).

The planning stages involved in the preparation of the CZMP are as follows;

  1. Byron Shire Coastline Hazard Assessment Update Report – Completed by BMT WBM and adopted by Council on 10th October 2013. The Report is a detailed assessment of shoreline hazards for the Byron Bay Embayment, determined from local knowledge, various survey data sources analysis of photogrammetry data and numerical modelling. The final report is available at-
  2. Coastal Hazard Management Study for the Byron Bay Embayment – Currently being prepared Council seeks your involvement and input as described below.
  3. Coastal Zone Management Plan for the Byron Bay Embayment – this document will be underpinned by the Coastline Hazard Assessment Update Report and Coastal Hazard Management Study for the Byron Bay Embayment. Once completed, it will establish mechanisms for managing the coastal zone for the Byron Bay Embayment. The draft will be placed on public exhibition for a minimum period of 21 days.

Council has engaged consultants from UNSW - Water Research laboratory (WRL) to undertake the Coastline Management Study for the BBE. The study will examine options for managing the coastline of the embayment from Cape Byron to the Tyagarah Nature Reserve.

The public is encouraged to take part in the study in the following ways:

  • Complete an online survey from 16 January: Go to survey includes several ‘tick the box’ style questions, but there is also room to provide more extended written comments, if you wish to do so.
  • A Coastal Hazard Management Study Workshop:A workshop is planned for mid February 2014. Feedback from the online survey will be presented anddiscussed at the workshop as well as detaileddiscussion and evaluation of the technical feasibility of management options. Attendance is by invitation only and will include a balanced representation from coastal landowners, community groups, council, state government and agency staff.
  • Make a submission: Council is also taking submissions on the Coastal Hazard Management Study for the Byron Bay Embayment until 28 February 2014.. 

After the current Coastal Hazard Management Study has been completed, Council will prepare a draft of the Coastal Zone Management Plan.  The draft plan will be exhibited for a minium of 21 days and submissions from the public will be sought.  This will provide a further opportunity for the community to comment.

The CZMP is part funded (50%) by the NSW Government through its Coastal Management Program.

Media contact:

Media Communication Officer
Byron Shire Council
Ph: 02 6626 7320

Byron Shire is located at Australia's eastern-most point with a population of almost 29,000. It is a thriving community where residents and visitors live, work and play in a sustainable environment and where Council strives to deliver the highest standard of local government services and infrastructure.