The North Coast is one of the most stunning environments in NSW. From panoramic coastal bays and beaches to scenic rural landscapes, the environment establishes the unique character of the region.
NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Environment

North Coast Regional Plan 2041

The North Coast is one of the most stunning environments in NSW. From panoramic coastal bays and beaches to scenic rural landscapes, the environment establishes the unique character of the region.

Biodiversity

The North Coast is the most biologically diverse region in NSW.

Biodiversity assets range from the Tweed volcano complex and Wollumbin (Mount Warning) caldera to the north, and North and Middle Brother Mountains in the south. The Solitary Islands stretch from Coffs Harbour to Wooli, and the Clarence River is the largest coastal river system in NSW.

Threats to the region’s biodiversity range from land clearing and habitat fragmentation to invasive species and pollution.

The regional plan offers several mechanisms to protect biodiversity in the North Coast region. Read objective 3 (PDF, 15.4 MB) to learn more about the strategies and collaboration activity.

Download the North Coast Regional Plan 2041 (PDF, 15.4 MB).

Koalas on the North Coast

The North Coast is home to many of the most important koala populations in NSW.

The NSW Koala Strategy identifies 10 North Coast populations as priority populations and 5 of the state’s 10 stronghold populations.

Protecting and increasing these populations is essential to achieve the NSW Government’s goal to double koala numbers in NSW by 2050. 


High Environmental Value land

Much of the North Coast Region contains areas of high environmental value (HEV).

The regional plan requires that future growth and development be located in a way that avoids HEV assets. This protects biodiversity while allowing for more efficient development assessment processes.

Read objective 3 (PDF, 15.4 MB) to learn more about High Environmental Value land.

Water

The North Coast is home to many interconnected rivers, creeks, groundwater aquifers, estuaries, marine parks and nationally important wetlands. Its main rivers are the Tweed, Richmond, Clarence, Macleay, Bellinger, Nambucca, Hastings and Camden Haven.

Future water reliability and security in a changing climate requires us to consider water availability and impacts early in the planning process.

There is generally enough water in the region to meet annual urban and rural water demands. However, the regional plan notes that competition for water during drier spring months increases hydrologic stress on waterways. This affects the river’s flora and fauna, as well as downstream water users. 

We’ve set out strategies to help improve water quality and sustainably manage and conserve water in the region under objective 9 (PDF, 15.4 MB) of the regional plan.

Page last updated: 09/02/2023