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Published 27 February 2023

The planning system plays an important role in the way we manage the coast and how we impact the marine environment.

The NSW coast provides a multitude of values and uses for the community. Competition for use and enjoyment places our coast under increasing pressure. The environmental and lifestyle benefits of coastal living continue to attract new residents and tourists.

Planning for coastal communities must carefully balance the need to provide jobs, housing, community facilities and transport for a changing population whilst maintaining the coast's unique qualities and managing risks associated with developing along our coastlines and waterways.

The NSW Government is implementing a new coastal management framework. The framework responds to existing and emerging coastal challenges and opportunities, with the aim of having thriving and resilient communities living and working on a healthy coast now and into the future.

New coastal management framework

The new coastal management framework commenced on 3 April 2018 and consists of:

  • new legislation Coastal Management Act 2016 – which replaces the Coastal Protection Act 1979 – and aims to facilitate better strategic management for coastal assets, values and hazards.
  • new planning policyState Environmental Planning Policy (Coastal Management) 2018 – which replaces three policies, SEPP 14 (Coastal Wetlands), SEPP 26 (Littoral Rainforests) and SEPP 71 (Coastal Protection).
  • funding of $83.6 million to support local communities manage coastal issues such as coastal hazards. The Coastal and Estuary Grants Programs has already commenced and will support the implementation of the new legislation and policy.

For more information on the Coastal Management SEPP, including mapping and detailed factsheets, visit the Department of Planning and Environment’s Coastal Management webpage.

More information about the NSW coastal reforms more broadly, including the Act, coastal management programs and grant funding, can be found on the Office of Environment and Heritage’s Coastal management webpage.