New Bush Telegraph Independent Stories since 1987


August 30, 2016

Immediately before going into caretaker mode prior to forthcoming elections, Shoalhaven Councillors voted to proceed with public exhibition of the controversial Collingwood Beach Dune Vegetation Plan.  This is despite a petition signed by 945 people objecting to the Plan.

Under this Plan, 1.5 km of dune vegetation would be lopped to 1 -1.5 m.  This vegetation has been repeatedly vandalised by foreshore property owners to improve their views.  The result?  A “skeleton alley’ of unsightly dead trees.

Instead of persisting with deterrents, like the short lived banner at the worst vandalism site, Council appears to have developed this Plan to appease an influential group of foreshore property owners.

Councillors have voted to put this ill-conceived Plan on public exhibition knowing that it will:

  • undermine 40 years of dune rehabilitation;
  • de-stabilise the dune;
  • reduce ecological values;
  • set a dangerous precedent; and
  • expose Shoalhaven ratepayers to unacceptable legal and financial risks.

The Plan is inconsistent with Council’s Foreshore Reserves Policy. E.g. Section 3.6 Views:

“Where Council is required to revegetate foreshore lands following unauthorised removal of vegetation, such revegetation will aim, at a minimum, to restore the former quality of the Reserve – the status quo.”

Worse, the Plan is inconsistent with Council’s key planning document, the Local Environment Plan. Collingwood Beach is in the Coastal Risk Planning Zone.  LEP Section 7.4 requires Council “to avoid significant adverse impacts from coastal hazards” in this zone. Council’s consultants, NGH say the Plan will achieve the opposite. They advised Council the Plan poses a risk to dune stability, and the area will become “more susceptible to extreme weather conditions that could result in adverse impacts to private and public assets as well as the ecological values of the reserve.”

We all saw what happened at Collaroy Beach during the East Coast Low that hit the NSW coast in June.  Proceeding with this Plan, knowing it will increase the risk of damage to properties and infrastructure from extreme weather events, is reckless and irresponsible. With many of Collingwood Beach’s foreshore properties and the shared pathway in the “Immediate Zone of Reduced Foundation Capacity”, the Plan will expose Council and ratepayers to unacceptable legal and financial risks.

The Plan will cost ratepayers $120,000.  Who benefits from this proposal?  A small number of private property owners.  Who will pay for the resulting damage to private properties and public infra-structure? Shoalhaven ratepayers. Is this fair? No. ■

If you liked this article help us to plant trees in its honour. The New Bush Telegraph practices community journalism and plants a tree for every article published, although we hope to plant a whole lot more trees than just one. You can contribute as little as $5. 


This article is in the following category/ies:

  • Categories

  • Archives

    Join us

    For only $20 (per annum, $10 concession) you can become a member of The New Bush Telegraph Incorporated. Membership to an incorporated association shows your support and gives you voting rights at annual general meetings, access to volunteer opportunities and special member events.

    Subscribe to our newsletter
    Keep up to date with all the news from The New Bush Telegraph and be notified of new articles when they are published. It’s the best way to stay in touch and never miss out on those important local issues. You can unsubscribe at any time.
    * indicates required

    Donate to the New Bush Telegraph

    The New Bush Telegraph is a not-for-profit community initiative.

    Support us to grow and reach our goals by considering making a donation.



    #125 Spring 2019#120 Winter 2018#109 Spring 2015#108 Winter 2015#107 Autumn 2015#106 Winter 2010#105 Late Spring 2009#104 Winter 2009#103 Autumn 2009#102 Summer 2008#101 Winter / Spring 2008#100 Late Autumn 2008#99 Late Summer  2008#98 Summer 2007#97 Spring 2007#96 Winter 2007#95 Autumn 2007
    New Bush Telegraph - Independent Publishing Since 1987
    Privacy PolicyTerms & Conditions
    Copyright © New Bush Telegraph Incorporated ABN: 42106732072
    linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram