Coast and Estuary Management

healthy waterways program logoThe Ballina Shire coastline provides us with a stunning natural environment, a wide range of recreational opportunities, and is a cornerstone of the coastal lifestyle that is so highly valued by the local community and visitors alike.

Our coastlines, rivers, and estuaries are managed under a range of projects and programs to ensure that the Shire continues to provide the ecological, cultural, recreational and economic benefits residents and visitors currently enjoy. Many of our river and estuary management programs and projects can be viewed by visiting

Ballina Shire Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP)

In recent years, our open coastline has been managed under the Ballina Shire Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP)  which was developed between Council, the community, stakeholders and the NSW State Government.

The CZMP was approved by the NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes in July 2016 and extends from Seven Mile Beach in the North to Patches Beach to the south of the Richmond River.

Coastal Management Program (CMP) for the Ballina Shire Coastline

Due to changes in coastal management planning and legislation, and increasing pressures from population growth, coastal erosion, and climate change, Council has begun developing a Coastal Management Program (CMP) under the NSW Government Coastal Management Framework  to help protect and preserve the future of the Shire's coastline. This program will replace the existing CZMP. 

Once complete, the CMP will set the long-term strategy for the coordinated management of the coastline. It will:

  • Identify coastal management issues and threats to the coastal environment and infrastructure
  • Recommend actions required to address these issues in a strategic way
  • Detail how and when those actions are to be implemented.

Who is involved in preparing the CMP?

Process for developing the ballina coastal management planIt is an opportunity for local communities, stakeholders and public authorities to come together and balance competing interests and priorities along the coastline.

How is it prepared?

A CMP is prepared through a five-stage process:

  1. Identify the scope of the CMP
  2. Determine risks, vulnerabilities and opportunities
  3. Identify and evaluate options
  4. Prepare, exhibit, finalise, certify and adopt the CMP
  5. Implement, monitor and evaluate

The first stage of the CMP for the Ballina Shire Coastline was recently completed in July 2022. This first stage was to develop a scoping study which involved a review of the existing plans and information, a stocktake of community values and concerns, and setting a plan for the remaining stages.

Stage 1 - Scoping Study for the Ballina Coastline CMP

Completed 2022 


Identify the scope of the CMP


$50,000 funded 2:1 by the NSW Dept of Planning and Environment (DPE) Coastal and Estuary Grants program and Council.

What were the Outcomes?

This stage 1 scoping study reviewed the history of managing the coastal zone, developed a shared understanding of the current situation, identified the focus of the CMP and outlined a forward program for the remaining four stages of the program.

Moving forward

It is estimated that the remaining stages of the CMP will take approximately 1.5 to 2 years to progress. The fifth and final stage will involve the ongoing implementation of the program over a 10-year period thereafter.

The next stage of the CMP is Stage 2, which will consist of a detailed assessment of risks, vulnerabilities and opportunities and the undertaking of several studies to fill information gaps and help to inform future stages, including:

  1. The Ballina Open Coast Hazard Study and Risk Assessment
  2. The Ballina Open Coast Geotechnical Hazard Study and Risk Assessment
  3. The Richmond River Storm Tide and Tidal Inundation Study Risk Assessment
  4. The Ballina Coastal and Estuarine Habitat and Biodiversity Study

Council will continue to update this information as the stages of the CMP progress.


Connect with us

Postal Address

The General Manager
Ballina Shire Council
PO Box 450
Ballina NSW 2478

View more contacts

40 Cherry Street
Ballina NSW 2478


Opening Hours

8:15am - 4:30pm

Monday to Friday