Coastal Management Program Northern Coastline

Brunswick Heads Beach

Planning for our coastline is underway in accordance with the NSW Government's coastal management framework. This involves preparing Coastal Management Programs (CMP). A Coastal Management Program (CMP) is an action plan for Council and other authorities responsible for managing coastal zones to

  • address coastal hazard risks,
  • preserve habitats and cultural uses,
  • encourage sustainable agricultural, economic, and built development in the coastal zone,
  • maintain or improve recreational amenity and resilience, and
  • adapt to emerging issues such as population growth and climate change. 

The CMP will be a long-term strategy to guide Council and other stakeholders in the management of the most popular and visited coastal areas of Byron Shire.

Study area

Byron Shire has 35km of open coast and three estuaries bounded by some 262 km2 of coastal catchments.

The Shire’s beaches, headlands, estuaries, and catchments have significantly varied environmental, geomorphic, and hydrological processes. The complex array of management issues makes it too difficult to consider one scoping study for the Coastline.

The study area for the Northern Coastline CMP includes

  • open beaches in the north of the Shire from Cape Byron to South Golden Beach and
  • regions that have proven both complex and challenging for coastal management.

See the project page Coastal Management Program (CMP) Southern Coastline including estuaries for more information on the study area and other project details.

Stage 1: Identify the scope of the CMP - Complete

Council adopted CMP Stage 1 Scoping Study for Cape Byron to South Golden Beach(PDF, 13MB) on 25 June 2020. 

The study found that coastal hazards are made worse in the future by the effects of climate change.

If the area's popularity for living and recreation continue to increase, this may also drive further changes due to increased use.

Study area: Scoping Study for the northern Byron Shire coastline

Map of Northern Coastline study-area. Description of locations provided on web page  

Stage 2: Risks, vulnerability and opportunities - In progress

An outcome of Stage 1 was the identification of studies and activities required to fill key data gaps and to answer questions relating to priority management issues, including the following.

Council will continue to seek State Government grant funding from the State Government Coast and Estuary Grants Program to assist in completing Stage 2 studies. These will ensure the development of more effective management strategies and actions in Stage 3.

Stages 3, 4 and 5

This stage will start after the completion of Stage 2 studies and will include

  • identifying and evaluating options,
  • preparing, exhibiting, and adopting a CMP, and then
  • implementing, monitoring and reporting.


How you can be involved

There will be opportunities for community involvement as the CMP is prepared through the stages.  As part of Stage 1, Council developed a Community and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy which will guide consultation.