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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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The NSW coast is one of the state’s greatest assets. In addition to sustaining diverse, complex and dynamic ecosystems, it is a vital economic zone that supports most of the state’s industrial, transport and commercial activity. The coast has unique values, natural and urban landscapes and cultural significance that support our way of life.


The coastal landscape is under increasing pressure. 85% of the NSW population now live within 50 kilometres of the coastline, with people placing growing importance on the coastal lifestyle and access to coastal areas. Coastal cities, regional centres and towns continue to grow as NSW’s population increases, reaching 11 million people by 2040. A coordinated, balanced approach to coastal management is essential to us having a healthy coast now and into the future.


Our state’s strategic land use planning and development assessment framework must carefully balance the need to provide jobs, housing, community facilities and transport for a changing population, while maintaining the unique qualities of the coastal and marine environment that make coastal areas so desirable. We also know our coastal areas face many natural hazards. It is important our planning system effectively responds to current and future coastal and other natural hazards, to protect lives, infrastructure and property, and the beautiful environments we cherish living in.


Coastal management framework

In 2018, the NSW Government’s new coastal management framework commenced. Our goal is to improve the way we plan for and assess coastal development, protect coastal and marine environmental assets and manage coastal hazards.

This framework includes:


To help understand the NSW coastal reforms and the management framework, you can watch our webinar recording.


Coastal Management Act 2016

The Coastal Management Act 2016 replaces the Coastal Protection Act 1979 and establishes a strategic framework and objectives for managing coastal issues in NSW.

Footbridge connecting La Perouse  and Bare Island, La Perouse NSW. Photo by: Andrew Richards/DPIE

Coastal Management SEPP

State Environmental Planning Policy (Coastal Management) 2018 guides development assessment in coastal areas, consistent with the objectives set out in the Coastal Management Act 2016.

Hare Point Track estuarine wetlands including saltmarsh and mangroves Carama Inlet northern shores of Jervis Bay. Photo by: Michael Van Ewijk/DPIE