Coastal management on agenda at Old Bar

TWO community information forums will be hosted for residents, with a key focus on property owners of Old Bar on Tuesday, April 8 at Club Old Bar.

The forums are being hosted by Greater Taree City Council to inform the community of the principal options being considered for management of the coastal zone and the reasons for this.

Speaking at both forums will be representatives of council, coastal engineering consultants Royal Haskoning DHV, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and the Water Research Laboratory of the University of NSW.

"We are quickly finalising the coastal zone management plan for Old Bar," Laura Black, council's executive leader corporate support, said.

"While this project has involved a close working relationship between council, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, the relevant minister's office and the local State member, we are required to formally present to the State a preferred option no later than June 2014."

Coastal engineering data indicates that the most effective means of protecting the property, infrastructure and assets is the construction of a rock revetment structure.

"We need to inform the community of these findings and how they stack up against other options discussed in the past," Ms Black said.

Consideration should also be given to the option of passive management of the zone, whereby recession continues and what the impact will be if an active management strategy is not formally recommended to the minister.

Part of the work to date has provided a planning framework for consent authorities to consider future development in the event no management action is taken.

"The community also needs to be informed of the consequence of such a scenario, as it will mean restricted development for properties within the hazard zone and this will likely be distressing news for property owners," Ms Black said.

Property owners directly affected by the defined hazard zone have been advised by individual correspondence, but members of the community are welcome to attend the forum and hear the news on coastal zone management for Old Bar.

As the same information will be presented at each forum, residents are asked attend only one of the forums, to ensure there is ample space for all.

Attendees will be required to sign an attendance record on the day.

The forums are at 2pm and 6pm on Tuesday, April 8 at Club Old Bar.

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