Workshop registrations open on Bellingen Coastal Management Program
Published on 22 June 2022
Registrations are now open for community workshops as part of Stage 3 of the development of the Bellingen Coastal Management Program (CMP), a long-term plan to manage our coastal catchments.
The purpose of the workshops is to seek input into draft management actions to address key issues and hazards that have been identified by the community and other stakeholders.
The two workshops, to be held at Bellingen and Urunga on Monday 4 July and Tuesday 5 July respectively, are open to private landowners along the Bellinger and Kalang rivers as well as the broader community.
It follows the completion of Stage 2 of the CMP development which began in November 2021. During this stage, Council and the community identified risks and hazards within the estuaries and catchment of the rivers as well as the open coastline.
Key issues that came out of this consultation were riverbank erosion, on-water speed limits not being enforced, the impact of visitors, campers and off-leash dogs, litter, vegetation loss and management, noise and amenity of powered boats and jet skis and dune destabilisation.
There were also many ideas for how some of these issues could be addressed. These included improved control of noxious weeds, engaging with traditional owners, more active regulation and monitoring, eco-friendly linked pathways and bike trails, permits for 4WD beach access and replacing and maintaining signs.
The issues and hazards raised were then workshopped with key stakeholders to determine their level of risk and possible mitigations. This allowed the project team to prepare draft management actions to address the issues and hazards.
Mayor, Cr Steve Allan said now Council was seeking landowner, agency and community input to refine the draft management actions before the draft CMP is placed on public exhibition later this year.
“The draft management actions are the most critical element of the CMP process,” Mayor, Cr Steve Allan said. “They set out the actions Council and other key stakeholders such as Crown Land will undertake over the next 10 years to improve our estuaries, rivers and open coastline.
“After undertaking a risk assessment of all the issues identified by the community, we have identified extreme and high-risk hazards that need to be prioritised and resourced.
“Before we place the draft CMP on public exhibition, we want the community and agencies to review the draft management actions and help us refine what’s proposed.”
To register to participate in one of the workshops, head to https://bellingen.mysocialpinpoint.com.au/coastal-management-program or call us on 0428 063 449 by 3 July 2022. Each workshop will run for about two hours starting at 6pm. A light dinner will be provided.