The Draft Eastern Beaches Foreshore Management Plan will be approved for public consultation at Council’s Ordinary Meeting this evening. Public consultation will take place in February to avoid the lead-up to Christmas and the School holidays.

The following amendments were proposed by Councillor Brian Stockwell at Monday’s General Committee Meeting.

These amendments incorporate

  • A Zero tolerance to new encroachments
  • Educative compliance as a first measure to historic encroachments
  • A Ranger Program with staff the having responsibilility as natural resources managers, and education and compliance officers
  • A broader awareness campaign to encourage good custodianship of bushland reserves and beaches.

Councillor Stockwell also requested that the additional officer for the Ranger program be considered at the earliest possible opportunity.

This does not address the immediate issue of specific encroachments, but it provides a stronger framework for going forward with a clearer, stronger policy plus additional resources to implement the much-needed education and compliance measures to stop encroachments.

Below is the relevant section in the Agenda (p.16) for tonight’s meeting

That Council note the report by the Environment Officer Coastal Management to the General Committee Meeting dated 14 November 2022 and

  1. Approve the release of the Draft Eastern Beaches Foreshore Management Plan (provided in Attachment 1) for public consultation in February 2023 with the following amendments:
    1. Modify Action 11.1 to read “Develop and resource a Council-managed land encroachment policy for Council-managed natural areas that includes:
      •   educative compliance as a first measure to address and remove historic encroachments; and
      •   a zero tolerance and timely enforcement approach to any new encroachments.”
    2. Add an action 11.2 to read “Commence a Natural Area, Foreshore and Waterway Ranger Program with staff that have roles as natural resource managers, education and compliance officers.”
    3. Add an action 11.3 to read: “Institute a broader awareness campaign to encourage good custodianship of the bushland reserves and beaches including information and signage.”
  2. That the resourcing of the Ranger Program be referred to Budget Review 2 for the commencement of an additional officer at the earliest possible opportunity; and

BC. Note the Community Consultation and Engagement Plan (provided at Attachment 2) for the consultation process.

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