Minutes of the Shoalhaven Natural Resource & Floodplain Management Committee

 

 

Meeting Date:     Thursday, 7 September 2017

Location:            Sussex Inlet Community Centre, Thompson St, Sussex Inlet

Time:                   4.05 pm

 

 

The following members were present:

 

Clr Amanda Findley - Chairperson

Clr Kaye Gartner

Clr Mark Kitchener

Clr John Levett

Clr Patricia White

Mr Duncan Marshall

Dr Michael Brungs

Mr Dirk Treloar

Ms Helen Moody

Mr David Reynolds

Mr Brett Stevenson

Mr Chris Grounds

Mr Mike Clear

Mr Paul Beckett

Mr Peter Hanson

Ms Robyn Flack

Mr Bill McInnes

Mr Ian Borrowdale

Mr Danny Wiecek

Mr Matt Carr

Mr Jillian Reynolds

Mr Jason Carson

Mr Phil Costello - Director, Planning Environment and Development (General Manager’s nominee)

 

Others present:

 

Ms Kelie Clarke - Environmental Services Manager

Alasdair Stratton – Natural Resources & Floodplain Unit Manager

Jessica Rippon – Executive Manager, Communications

Coralie Bell – Section Manager, Tourism

Ray Massie – Coast & Estuaries Officer

Janice Natt – President, Safe Navigation Action Group

 

 

Clr Findley acknowledged the Traditional Owners of the land by paying respect to Elders past and present.

 

  

 

Apologies / Leave of Absence

 

An apology was received from Clr Cheyne, David McCorkell, Ian Stewart, Annie Boutland, Kaye Milsom, John Murtagh, Allan Lugg, Ian Stewart and David Zerafa.

 

 

Confirmation of the Minutes

RESOLVED (By consent)

 

That the Minutes of the Shoalhaven Natural Resource & Floodplain Management Committee held on Tuesday 06 June 2017 be confirmed.

CARRIED

 

 

 

 

Presentations

 

Robyn Flack provided a PowerPoint presentation on behalf of the Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Task Force.  Robyn advised that the Task Force is seeking the support and assistance of the Shoalhaven Natural Resources and Floodplain Management Committee with regard to protecting Shoalhaven Heads from flood, erosion events and sea level rise by relocating the sand within the basin to protect the river bank and meet the recreation, tourism and boating needs of the community.

 

The Committee discussed the information provided by Robyn later in the meeting under Item SN17.17.

 

 

SN17.12     Coralie Bell - Tourism Manager - Sustainable Tourism Model

HPERM Ref: D17/287525

Coralie Bell, Tourism Manager, provided the Committee with an update regarding the Sustainable Tourism Model currently being drafted, noting the four cornerstones of sustainable tourism, community, environment, economy and customer.

 

The issue of the importance of National Parks in tourism and was raised. Coralie assured the Committee that Tourism is working on building relationships with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and confirmed that NPWS has a representative member on Council’s Shoalhaven Tourism Advisory Group. 

 

The Committee agreed that balance and sustainability is important and discussed:

  • Sustainable growth and balance with economic growth
  • Pets on beaches
  • Threat to shorebirds
  • Unspoilt campaign
  • Caravanning and camping
  • Promotion of tourism in the Shoalhaven for the “off” season, for instance, food and wine and inland touring

 

Coralie spoke about the interactive reporting tool “Dashboard”, which is currently under development, noting that when it is at the draft stage it will come back to the Committee for feedback. Coralie suggested that the Committee view the Tourism Optimisation Management (TOMM) Model used by Kangaroo Island http://www.tourkangarooisland.com.au/tourism-optimisation-management 

 

The following members expressed an interest in providing feedback on Council’s Sustainable Tourism Model:

  • David Reynolds
  • Brett Stevenson
  • Mike Clear
  • Chris Grounds
  • Jason Carson
  • Clr Levett
  • Dirk Treloar
  • Paul Beckett
  • Helen Moody
  • Matt Carr

 

 

SN17.13     Jessica Rippon - Communications Executive Manager - Integrated Strategic Plan

HPERM Ref: D17/287536

Jessica Rippon, Communications Executive Manager, provided an overview of Council’s Integrated Strategic Plan (ISP) and spoke about how the environment fits into the long term planning for Council. The ISP can be viewed on Council’s website http://shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au/My-Council/Integrated-Strategic-Plan

 

Jessica spoke about the ISP key priorities and key indicators.

 

Kelie Clarke noted that Council is seeking to embed the environmental strategies into its Strategic Plan, so the environment is a consideration in everything it does.

 

The issue of loss of habitat and impingement of urban development was raised.  Clr Gartner spoke about the purpose of Council’s Sustainable Futures Committee including its focus on efficiency measures, environmentally sustainable living and business.

 

 

 

 

Reports

 

SN17.14     Crown Land Management Act 2016

HPERM Ref: D17/240505

 

The issue of the South Pacific Heathland Reserve Trust was raised by Helen Moody and Clr Findley suggested that the Trust may wish to write to the relevant Minister requesting that the trust stays in trust and David Reynolds may wish to write an individual letter to the Minister.

 

 

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the Shoalhaven Natural Resource and Floodplain Management Committee receive the report for information.

 

 

RESOLVED (Clr White / Helen Moody)

That:

1.      The Shoalhaven Natural Resource and Floodplain Management Committee receive the report regarding the Crown Management Act 2016 for information.

2.      Any further updates be reported to the Shoalhaven Natural Resource and Floodplain Management Committee.

CARRIED

 

 

SN17.15     Consideration of a possible additional membership for an Oyster Farmer/Primary Industry Producer

HPERM Ref: D17/216648

Members discussed the issue and it was suggested if the SNRFMC needed input from a special interest group they could be invited to address the Committee.

 

Recommendation

That the Committee adopt the report for information and not recommend to Council an increase in membership.

 

RESOLVED (Chris Grounds / David Reynolds)

That the Shoalhaven Natural Resources & Floodplain Management Committee:

1.      Adopt the report for information.

2.      Not recommend to Council an increase in membership.

3.      Invite special interest group/s to address the Committee should specific knowledge or input be required.

CARRIED

 

 

SN17.16     Update on preparation of the Scoping Study for Council's Coastal Management Plan

HPERM Ref: D17/248599

Kelie Clarke advised that the Scoping Study will not be placed on public exhibition, and will go to Council for adoption. Once the Study has been adopted a consultant will be engaged.

Kelie asked the Committee to nominate three (3) community members to participate in a working group with staff to assist in the development and preparation of the Scoping Study for Council’s Coastal Management Plan.

Chris Grounds, Brett Stevenson and Dirk Treloar volunteered to participate in the working group.

The draft document can be made available to interested members of the committee and the draft Scoping Study will be reported back to the Committee for information.

 

Recommendation

The Committee nominate three (3) community members to participate in a working group with staff to assist in the development and preparation of Scoping Study for Council’s Coastal Management Plan as required by the NSW Government’s Stage 2 Coastal Reforms.

 

 

RESOLVED (By consent)

The Shoalhaven Natural Resource & Floodplain Management Committee nominates Chris Grounds, Brett Stevenson and Dirk Treloar to participate in a working group with staff to assist in the development and preparation of Scoping Study for Council’s Coastal Management Plan as required by the NSW Government’s Stage 2 Coastal Reforms.

CARRIED

 

 

 

Addendum Reports

 

SN17.17     Robyn Flack - Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce Presentation

HPERM Ref: D17/289719

NSW Grant funding applications and Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce River Road Stormwater and Erosion Control project has been shortlisted for a formal grant application with the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Council has looked at the storm water drains and the engineering team that undertook the investigation advised that the drains could not be removed but could be consolidated and improved. $300,000 will be committed for the upgrade of stormwater drains. It has been identified that rock riventment work needs to be done and a grant application has been lodged for these costs to be covered. Other work included in the grant application is for restoration of the foreshore.

 

Concerns were raised by Robyn Flack with regard to moving the stormwater drains and discussion followed.

 

Kelie reassured Robyn that Council will continue to work with the community to deliver a good outcome for Shoalhaven Heads that looks good and addresses the environmental problems.

 

 

RESOLVED (Clr White / Robyn Flack)

That the Shoalhaven Heads Community Forum continue to work with Council staff on the overall project of the grant application

CARRIED

 

 

SN17.18     University of Wollongong - Coastal hazard assessment based on sediment budgeting, Southern NSW -  ARC Research Partnership Grant Application

HPERM Ref: D17/260528

Clr Levett left at 5.29 pm

 

Kelie Clarke spoke about the requirements of the reforms. The research project is partnering with the Office of Environment and Heritage and University of Wollongong. This is a pilot project.

 

 

Recommendation

That Council commit to providing $5,000 per year over three (3) years (2017/18, 2018/19 & 2019/20) from Council’s coast and estuaries program (15931) to the University of Wollongong towards the Coastal hazard assessment based on sediment budgeting, southern NSW project, if the grant application is successful

 

Recommendation (By consent)

That Council commit to providing $5,000 per year over three (3) years (2017/18, 2018/19 & 2019/20) from Council’s coast and estuaries program (15931) to the University of Wollongong towards the Coastal hazard assessment based on sediment budgeting, southern NSW project, if the grant application is successful.

CARRIED

 

 

SN17.19     Announcement of 2017/18 and 2018/19 Coast and Estuary Program Grant Funding Opportunities - Seeking feedback from SNR&FC

HPERM Ref: D17/275098

Alasdair Stratton, Natural Resources & Floodplain Unit Manager, asked the Committee for their input regarding selection and prioritisation of potential grant projects, noting that 2 or 3 applications would be submitted.

The Committee provided input on the selection and identified three priorities for potential grant application projects.

 

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

Receive the report for information and provide input on the selection and prioritisation of potential grant application projects.

 

RESOLVED (By consent)

That the Shoalhaven Natural Resource & Floodplain Management Committee:

1.      Receive the report for information

2.      Identify the following three (3) priorities for potential grant application projects

o   Mollymook Foreshore Emergency Works

o   Remediation Action Plan – Broughton Creek Floodplain

o   Nature Assisted Beach Enhancement (NAB) for the Shoalhaven’s 40 Beach Compartments

 

CARRIED

 

 

 

Other business

 

SN17.20     Additional Item: Developing a strategic approach and associated planning for management, conservation and protection of the natural environment

 

Duncan Marshall submitted an additional agenda item on behalf of Ian Stewart and the following was tabled for the Committee’s consideration.

 

Background:  At the last Committee meeting a motion in relation to Council developing a strategic approach and associated planning for the management, conservation and protection of the natural environment was unanimously carried with only one dissenting view. It will be important for this Committee to be advised of the progress being made in developing and implementing such a strategic approach.

 

Committee members will then be able to make an ongoing contribution to help inform, shape, monitor and review this strategy, especially in relation to the high level vision, values, principles, goals and priorities.

 

Council's current strategic approach includes the tourism promotion view that high levels of sustained growth and development are both desirable and feasible. This appears to be at odds with what the community stated unequivocally during the recent consultation and also what is actually sustainable before the area changes dramatically and the natural environment and sensitive ecosystems are damaged.

 

There is mounting evidence that increasing numbers of visitors and residents are changing this once relatively 'unspoilt' area. It is also clear that development pressure is encroaching on areas that are sensitive to human impacts, such as Narrawallee / Mollymook and Vincentia / Jervis Bay, where significant areas of the natural environment have been and are continuing to be bulldozed and transformed into suburban residential areas and commercial precincts.

 

At the very least the implications of these current strategic directions should be considered carefully by this Committee as an important part of our role and responsibility.

 

In view of these current strategic directions all activity for increasing tourism numbers should take account of the implications of this for impacted areas. So that ratepayers are not bearing the burden, all tourism developments should be required to establish a business case which includes a contribution of funds for required infrastructure, maintenance and compliance costs to preserve our natural environment. 

 

One related matter is also pressing. It is the responsibility of NPWS to manage areas under their direct control. Council however has a shared responsibility, for the impact of their contentious dog walking policy for example, for what they are encouraging (through the very active 'pet friendly' / 'unspoiled Shoalhaven' tourism promotions) and directing (through signage) dog owners to access vulnerable, unspoiled beach environments and ecosystems. At the very least there is an urgent need for information and awareness raising, regulation and compliance controls to manage the increasing impacts of human activity in sensitive areas such as Conjola / Narrawallee. Ideally this should be aligned and jointly undertaken by Council and NPWS.

 

 

RESOLVED (By consent)

1.      The following motions submitted by Ian Stewart be considered by Staff and reported back to the Shoalhaven Natural Resource & Floodplain Management Committee:

a.      Strategic approach progress - the Committee be regularly advised of the progress being made in developing and implementing Council's strategic approach to managing the natural environment so that committee members are able to make an ongoing contribution to help inform, shape, monitor and review this strategy, especially in relation to the high level vision, values, principles, goals and priorities.

b.      Evaluating development impacts

i.       Implications of the current strategic directions on the natural environment, especially in relation to tourism and residential development impacts, should be considered carefully by this Committee as an important part of our role and responsibility.

ii.      All tourism developments should be required to establish a business case which includes a contribution of funds for required infrastructure, maintenance and compliance costs to preserve our natural environment

c.      Practical collaborative management of impacts - Shared responsibility with NPWS for information and awareness raising, regulation and compliance controls to manage the increasing impacts of human activity, such as dog walking in sensitive natural environments, should be aligned and jointly undertaken.

2.      Ian Stewart and other relevant Committee members to be invited to a meeting so that Staff can brief members further on Council’s strategic approach.

CARRIED

 

 

 

 

There being no further business, the meeting concluded, the time being 6.25 pm.

 

 

Clr Amanda Findley

CHAIRPERSON