Coastal and Estuary Planning

Waterways are a huge part of the Hornsby Shire community’s lifestyle. They underpin our identity, support our local economy, provide recreational and social opportunities for locals and visitors, and support our mental and physical wellbeing.

A great deal of planning and research has been undertaken within the Hawkesbury River system throughout the years. Up to now, the River has often been managed in a segmented approach to address locally specific issues or through estuary management and other plans across smaller sections of river and catchments that align with local council areas. Estuary Management Plans were developed for Berowra and Brooklyn area which then were combined into the Lower Hawkesbury Estuary Management Plan in 2008 (Wisemans Ferry to Junio Point). This plan included strategies in the following themes:

  • Planning – ensuring planning instruments include best practice and provisions for sustainable development
  • Research – undertaking programs to monitor estuarine health and prepare for climate change
  • Education – engaging local communities and schools through estuary awareness activities
  • Compliance – encouraging riverside settlements to implement sustainable practices
  • On-ground works – installing infrastructure and undertaking regeneration programs to protect estuarine assets.

Currently Hornsby Shire Council is working on two key projects aim to protect and improve estuary and catchment planning through development of Coastal Management Programs (CMPs) for the Hawkesbury-Nepean River and Sydney Harbour. Both projects are supported by the NSW Government’s Coastal and Estuary Grant Program.

Under the Coastal Management Act 2016 (CM Act) councils may prepare CMPs which set out the long-term strategy for the coordinated management of the coast, with a focus on achieving the objects and objectives of the CM Act. The CMPs will be developed and guided by the NSW State Government's Coastal Management Manual.

CMPs identify management issues in the coastal area, the actions required to address these issues, and how and when those actions will be implemented. They detail costs and proposed cost-sharing arrangements and other viable funding mechanisms.

Useful links