Coastal management

Coastal management hero

The coastal zone of the Tweed Local Government Area (LGA) boasts 37 km of long sandy beaches, encompassed by rocky headlands and punctuated by estuary entrances.

These coastal areas are major social, environmental, and economic assets for the region, yet they face increasing pressure from population growth, urbanisation and climate change.

Coastal management is the planned, strategic management of coastal areas and the social and ecological systems that exist within them to accommodate the effect of coastal processes and hazards.

The core objective of coastal management is to balance the demands of society, the economy and the environment in a proactive manner while building community resilience to the impacts of climate change. 

Council has a detailed history of managing Tweed’s coastline, with objectives, strategies and actions identified in Coastal Management Plans and Programs.

Coastal management plans/programs Studies and assessments Coastal processes and hazards

Coastal management plans/programs

Coastal management plans and programs

A Coastal Management Plan/Program (CMP) provides Council’s direction for managing coastal hazards in the short to medium term and establishes Council’s long-term strategy for the coordinated management of the coastal zone with a focus on achieving the objects of the Coastal Management Act 2016 (the CM Act). 

A CMP considers the diverse range - and complex interaction - of social and ecological systems within the coastal zone to ensure management actions align with both the Council and community's desired social, economic and environmental outcomes. A CMP is developed by a Local Government (Council) under the guidance of the Coastal Management Manual as required by the CM Act.

Tweed Shire Coastline Management Plan 2005

The Tweed Shire Coastline Management Plan (2005) provides Council with an integrated management planning framework that aims to balance the long-term use and conservation of the open coastline.

This is the current CMP for Tweed’s open coastline, however will soon be superseded by the Tweed Coast and Estuaries CMP.

Tweed Shire Coastline Management Plan(PDF, 2MB)

Cobaki and Terranora Broadwaters Coastal Zone Management Plan 2011

The Cobaki and Terranora Broadwater Coastal Zone Management Plan 2011 provides Council’s integrated management planning framework to achieve estuary management objectives, including but not limited to:

  • improving water quality and ecosystem health by revegetation/regeneration of riparian vegetation, prioritising the mid – transition zones of all creeks and their ephemeral drainage lines
  • restoring riparian habitat to enhance connectivity of wildlife corridors
  • improving rural stormwater discharge quality and ecosystem health by facilitating and supporting best practice land management and functional On-site Sewage System Facilities (OSSF)
  • increasing community awareness and protection of areas important to Aboriginal cultural heritage.

This is the current CMP for the Cobaki and Terranora Broadwaters. The Stage 1 Scoping Study for the Tweed Coast and Estuaries CMP identified that this CMP should be updated in the coming years.

Cobaki and Terranora Broadwaters Coastal Zone Management Plan 2011(PDF, 16MB)

Tweed Coast Estuaries Coastal Zone Management Plan 2013

The Tweed Coast Estuaries Coastal Zone Management Plan 2013 provides Council’s 10-year strategy for the integrated management of the Cudgen, Cudgera and Mooball estuaries and their catchments through strategic objectives including, but not limited to:

  • protecting, rehabilitating and improving the natural environment
  • recognising and accommodating natural processes and climate change
  • protecting and conserving cultural heritage
  • promoting ecologically sustainable development and use of resources, and ecologically sustainable human settlement.

This is the current CMP for Tweed’s coastal estuaries, however will soon be superseded by the Tweed Coast and Estuaries CMP. 

Tweed Coast Estuaries Coastal Zone Management Plan 2013(PDF, 4MB)

Kingscliff - Dreamtime Beach Coastal Zone Management Plan 2017

On 18 May 2017 Council adopted theKingscliff - Dreamtime Coastal Zone Management Plan 2017. The plan is supported by a number of studies found below.

Additional information that assisted in the formulation of the plan is summarised in Kingscliff - Dreamtime Coastal Zone Management Plan Part B Appendices(PDF, 4MB).

The plan provides practical actions to address current and future risks to ecological and community values of the beach and immediate foreshore as a result of erosion and other coastal processes and calls for sand nourishment onto Kingscliff Beach to the North of the newly constructed seawall.

This nourishment is required to combat loss of beach amenity during erosion events. The seawall holds sand in place behind the wall that would otherwise be available to move into the coastal system in high seas and erosion events.

Kingscliff - Dreamtime Coastal Zone Management Plan 2017(PDF, 1MB)

Tweed Coast and Estuaries Coastal Management Plan (in development)

Council is currently developing the Tweed Coast and Estuaries Coastal Management Program (TCECMP) which will supersede the Tweed Shire Coastline Management Plan 2005 and Tweed Coast Estuaries CZMP 2013.

The lifecycle of a CMP progresses through five stages, with Stage 1 currently completed, and Stage 2 underway. For more information on the development of a CMP, see the Coastal Management Manual.

The Stage 1 – Scoping study(PDF, 12MB) represents the first of five stages in the CMP Process. The purpose of this study is to review the history of managing the coastal zone, develop a shared understanding of the current situation, and identify the focus of Councils new CMPs.

Please visit the Your Say Tweed page for further information and community engagement opportunities regarding the TCECMP. 

Studies and assessments of Tweed’s coastline

Tweed coastline

Coastline Management Study 2005, Stage 2 – Management Objectives

This report is the second of 3 stages in the development of Tweed Coastline Management Plan 2005.

Tweed Shire Coastline Management Study Stage 2(PDF, 3MB)

Kingscliff Beach Coastal Erosion 2011

This report was undertaken following severe and continued erosion of Kingscliff beach over the period of 2009 – 2011.

The report identified the presiding coastal processes affecting the area and provided recommendations to the Minister for the Environment regarding management actions.

Coastal Erosion at Kingscliff, December 2011(PDF, 3MB)

Tweed Shire Coastal Hazard Assessment 2013

The  Tweed Shire Coastal Hazards Assessment (2013) outlines the coastal processes and individual hazards impacting on the coastline of the Tweed Shire.

The information has been used to assess the projected landward limit of the back-beach erosion escarpment for various planning periods, where appropriate, and determine cumulative hazard zones for these periods.

The calculation of long-term recession rates in the assessment of coastal erosion hazard included a Sea Level Rise component. For the purpose of coastal hazard planning Council adopted (October 2012) Sea Level Rise projections for the years 2050 and 2100, relative to 1990 sea levels, of 0.4 m and 0.9 m respectively.

Tweed Shire Coastal Hazards Assessment 2013(PDF, 5MB)

Tweed Shire Coastal Hazards Assessment 2013 Mapping(PDF, 9MB)

Kingscliff Coastal Risk Management Study 2015

The purpose of this study was to provide a summary of the key coastal processes affecting the coastal zone of Kingscliff and identify and discuss all previous hazard management options considered for Kingscliff.

This report describes the key aspects of each management option and provides a shortlist of potential management options, which are then assessed via a multi-criteria assessment.

The study provides a recommendation for a preferred risk management strategy for adoption in the Kingscliff – Dreamtime Beach Coastal Zone Management Plan.

Kingscliff Coastal Risk Management Study 2015(PDF, 6MB)

Coastal processes and hazards

Coastal hazards

Coastal processes

Coastal Management Plan - Coastal processes(PDF, 1MB)

Coastal environments are dynamic and ever changing in response to a diverse range of interacting and interdependent drivers and processes. Coastal processes are the everyday functions of the marine and intertidal zone which shape the profile of a beach and greater coastal environment.

Coastal processes include natural phenomena such as currents, tides, waves, storms (and the rainfall and runoff, elevated water levels, and large waves they cause), and sediment (i.e. sand) transport including erosion and accretion of dunes and foreshores.

Human interventions such as retaining, training, and sea walls, beach nourishment, and coastal vegetation modifications can influence the impact of coastal processes on the coastal environment.

Coastal hazards

Coastal Management Plan - Coastal hazards(PDF, 314KB)

Coastal hazards are the product of exacerbated coastal processes which may threaten coastal developments and recreational areas, public infrastructure and assets, and sensitive coastal ecosystems.

Under the Coastal Management Manual, 7 coastal hazards are identified to be addressed under a Coastal Management Program, being: 

  • beach erosion
  • shoreline recession
  • coastal lake or watercourse entrance instability
  • coastal inundation
  • coastal cliff or slope instability
  • tidal inundation
  • erosion and inundation of foreshores caused by tidal waters and the action of waves, including the interaction of those waters with catchment floodwaters.