PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT Consultation with the community and a range of stakeholders forms an important component of plan development.
Brisbane Water Estuary Management Study and Plan Council, with the support of the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC), is currently preparing an Estuary Management Study and Plan for Brisbane Water. The purpose of this study is to identify and recommend appropriate actions to manage the environmental, social and commercial aspects of Brisbane Water Estuary. The Management Study and Plan is developed in line with the NSW Estuary Management Manual (1992) and the NSW Government’s Rivers and Estuaries Policy 1993. The planning process will establish a balanced long-term management framework for the ecologically sustainable use of Brisbane Water and its catchment. In developing the plan, all values and uses of the estuary are considered to assist in recommending preferred management options. Consultation with the community and a range of stakeholders forms an important component of plan development. A workshop was held on 4 April 2009 at which the community was provided with an opportunity to identify any issues they had observed on and around the Brisbane Water Estuary. Over 190 issues were identified, with key issues including: poor water quality and sedimentation associated
with stormwater outlets and creeks; sedimentation and foreshore erosion; safe passage through navigation channels; safety issues in relation to boat traffic; and low rates of tidal flushing in some locations. A community information evening was conducted on 18 May 2009 to communicate the scientific findings of the Estuary Process Study, which was adopted by Council in February 2009. With over 190 management issues identified, input was sought from the community at a series of three Options Development Workshops, held from 19-21 May 2009 at Wagstaffe, Gosford and Woy Woy. The purpose of these workshops was, firstly, to identify specific actions that might be undertaken to mitigate these issues and, secondly, to ensure that the estuary is managed in such a way as to maintain or enhance its current condition. It is anticipated that the Draft Brisbane Water Estuary Management Study will be placed on public exhibition for comment in late 2009. After all submissions have been compiled and addressed, the management study will be finalised and work will begin on the Brisbane Water Estuary Management Plan.
Lower Hawkesbury Estuary Management Plan In March 2009 Council adopted the Lower Hawkesbury Estuary Management Plan. The area relevant to the management plan includes the estuarine areas of the Lower Hawkesbury River (below Wisemans Ferry), and Berowra, Cowan and Mangrove Creeks. The purpose of the management plan is to fulfil the requirements of the NSW Government’s Rivers and Estuaries Policy 1993 and the NSW Coastal Policy 1997. The key requirement of these policies is to encourage the integrated, balanced, responsible and ecologically sustainable use of the State’s estuaries.
The key requirement of these policies is to encourage the integrated, balanced, responsible and ecologically sustainable use of the State’s estuaries. The management plan proposes that the plan’s implementation will be overseen by a newly established Lower Hawkesbury Estuary Management Committee, intended to consist of community, commercial and government representatives.