NSW BUDGET: BIGGEST FUNDING BOOST TO COASTAL MANAGEMENT SINCE the 1970s
The NSW Government announced an $83.6 million Budget funding commitment towards management of the NSW coastline, including funding for the mitigation of future coastal risks and hazards over the next five years.
Planning Minister Rob Stokes and Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian said the funds would support local councils to increase the resilience of coastal communities, strategic coastal land-use planning and the State Government’s coastal management reforms.
“The package of funding includes $69 million of new funding and the redirection of $14.6 million in existing coastal management spending, which is the most significant commitment of state funds to coastal management since the 1970s,”Mr Stokes said.
“More than $63 million of these funds will be made available to support councils in implementing equitable and cost effective actions that reduce exposure to coastal hazards, such as beach erosion, coastal inundation or cliff instability.”
Population growth and development demand are anticipated to put increased pressure on coastal assets, so a further $9.5 million will aid councils in preparing coastal management programs, including for technical studies.
Ms Berejiklian said the funding commitment will be included in the 2016/17 NSW Budget, due to be handed down on June 21. “Our strong Budget position and healthy finances allow us to invest in communities across NSW including our thriving coastal communities,” the Treasurer said. “This funding commitment recognises the importance of NSW’s coastal economy and that the coast is a vital economic zone.”
A $7 million investment in statewide science and technical advice as part of the package, will help councils to identify and assess the vulnerability of coastal areas and evaluate possible management actions to prepare their communities and assist them to respond effectively. Councils will be able to apply for grants to help them implement actions they have identified in their coastal management programs that demonstrate clear benefits for their local area.
Finally, $3.9 million would be directed into enabling a review and assessment process of programs and proposals to ensure consistency with the government’s proposed coastal management framework.
The funding will commence in the 2016-17 financial year. For more information visit: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/coasts/coastreforms.htm