Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce



Meeting Date:     Tuesday, 21 May, 2019

Location:            Jervis Bay Rooms, City Administrative Centre, Bridge Road, Nowra

Time:                   4.00pm


Please note: Council’s Code of Meeting Practice permits the electronic recording and broadcast of the proceedings of meetings of the Council which are open to the public. Your attendance at this meeting is taken as consent to the possibility that your image and/or voice may be recorded and broadcast to the public.





1.    Apologies

2.    Confirmation of Minutes

·      Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce - 2 May 2018.................................................. 1

3.    Declarations of Interest

4.    Reports

SH19.1........ Shoalhaven River Estuary - Coastal Management Program Progress Report     6

SH19.2........ Update on the Water Quality Monitoring Program - Shoalhaven River......... 8

SH19.3........ Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce - Review of Purpose, Objectives and Achievements............................................................................................... 10                         

5.    General Business


 Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce – Tuesday 21 May 2019




Clr Mitchell Pakes - Chairperson

All Councillors

Mr Gareth Ward MP (Nominee – Mr Paul Ell)

Mr Mike James

Mr Phil Guy

Mr David Lamb

Mr Bob Williamson

Mr Barry/Brian Allen

Mr Craig Peters

Mr Gerald Groom

Mr Stephen Short

Ms Robyn Flack

Ms Carole Cassidy

Mr Rob Russell


Quorum – Three (3): One (1) Councillor and Two (2) Community Members



·           Examine options for pursuing a partial or complete opening of Shoalhaven Heads

·           Review Councils current Entrance and Estuary Management Plans for Shoalhaven Heads

·           Report directly to Council






Minutes of the Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce



Meeting Date:     Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Location:            Jervis Bay Rooms, City Administrative Centre, Bridge Road, Nowra

Time:                   4:02pm



The following members were present:


Clr Mitchell Pakes - Chairperson

Clr Nina Cheyne

Clr John Wells – left the meeting 4.54pm

Clr Patricia White

Clr Kaye Gartner

Clr Mark Kitchener

Paul Ell

Phil Guy

Mike James

David Lamb

Stephen Short

Robyn Flack


Others present:

Phil Costello – Group Director, Planning Environment and Development

Kelie Clarke – Manager Environment Services

Ray Massie – Coast and Estuaries Officer

Alasdair Stratton – Manager Natural Resources and Floodplain

Carole Cassidy




Apologies / Leave of Absence


A leave of absence was received from Clr Alldrick. Apologies were received from The Hon Gareth Ward and Gerald Groom.



Confirmation of the Minutes

RESOLVED (Clr Wells / Phil Guy)

That the Minutes of the Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce held on Monday 20 November 2017 be confirmed.




Matters Arising

Phil Guy said the community had been told the boat ramps at Shoalhaven Heads were well placed to receive funding from the Better Boating Program, and want to know why Shoalhaven Heads had dropped to eighth position on its release. Mike James agreed there was disappointment with downgrading, as it had been suggested artificial reef would stimulate boating in our region.

Action: Paul Keech to address this as a Question on Notice.




Declarations of Interest






SH18.1       Membership Applications Rob Russell and Carole Cassidy

HPERM Ref: D18/132845

Carole Cassidy’s name should be corrected to ‘Carole’ as it is in the recommendation and application.

Clr Wells stated these are two excellent nominees.


RECOMMENDATION (Clr Wells / Robyn Flack)

That Council appoint Carole Cassidy and Rob Russell as members of the Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce.




SH18.2       Update on the review of the draft 2012 Coastal Zone Management Plan

HPERM Ref: D18/133099

The recommendation on the Agenda should be amended to read ‘That the Taskforce receive…’

Council staff are confident the CZMP will be adopted in time for certification. They have been consistently liaising with OEH and working closely with government agencies closely. Staff will also be seeking to discuss with Gareth Ward the process of certification.

Action: To meet with Gareth Ward, seeking his support for certification of the CZMP.

It was confirmed that the CZMP applies to city’s ocean foreshore only, not to lakes or estuaries. Kelie Clarke had previously circulated data about beaches and proposed works, but he and Clr White are yet to discuss with her.

Staff were asked whether the CZMP takes into account such matters as moving the sand in front of the surf club in Shoalhaven Heads. Kelie confirmed Council will be investigating feasibility, looking at the seawall and surf club foundations, and the useful life of the building. The CZMP does not specify proposed works. Following the works carried out before Christmas last year, Council had asked how this will be addressed on a consistent basis. We are at the stage of submitting a report to Council on a maintenance plan for the area.

Kelie also confirmed the CZMP includes addressing beach access ways and viewing platforms. Community access to beaches is important.

Phil Guy raised concern at the exclusion of estuaries, and the potential impact on the community’s ability to apply for State funding that may be on offer once CZMP ratified. Kelie clarified the funding is for estuaries as well. OEH had advised that our information on estuaries intended for the CZMP did not comply with the new format for an estuaries management plan. Council is to investigate funding for the Shoalhaven River under the new Act that came into force on 3 April. A Coastal Management Program (CMP) can cover the entire coast or individual estuaries. The Shoalhaven Estuary probably needs its own CMP as it is so large.

The CZMP has to be certified within 6 months of 3 April. Once ratified, we will still have to draw up a Coastal Management Program in line with the new Act. Council will therefore have an up to date management plan going forward. Kelie confirmed that programs do have to be approved by OEH.

Completing the application is a top priority for Council. The public exhibition process will inform the community that after the CZMP Council will be transitioning to these other management plans. This will provide the opportunity to be more specific on programs in different areas. There will be a flowchart explaining how the plan was developed, a Q&A, and all information posted on the Council website. It is anticipated the completed draft will be submitted to the Council meeting at the end of May, and on public exhibition shortly after.

Clr Wells added Council has engaged a dedicated consultant to prepare the CZMP.


RESOLVED (Phil Guy / Paul Ell)

That the Taskforce receive the update report on the revision of the Shoalhaven Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) 2018 for information.




SH18.3       Technical peer review of the River Road Foreshore Shoalhaven Heads: Assessment of the Coastal Management Options Report by MHL.

HPERM Ref: D18/133125

Phil Guy expressed the community’s dissatisfaction with the process of the peer review, and the perceived lack of consultation. He raised two concerns: first, that it had not been the community’s suggestion to have a peer review; and second, that he and Robyn Flack had asked to see the brief being given to the consultant, but this did not happen until the SNRFMC meeting last month. Kelie Clarke clarified that the brief had been generic and contained little information. She had advised Phil and Robyn at the time that the report would be going to the SNRFMC meeting, and she had provided information for the community meeting. The date on the report was incorrect – the draft was not finalised on 20 February.

Robyn added that MHL’s review identified the short term nature of proposals. She noted the potential $200k saving in adopting soft engineering options. The project should not have a short term focus.

Kelie advised the WRL report had looked at the sand as an option, among a number of scenarios.  Ray Massie explained that hard engineering such as rock armour is a necessity now because of the erosion. The geoengineering and WRL reports both recommend this. Soft engineering can form part of a maintenance program, but it is a recurring, not permanent, solution.

Clr Wells agreed that MHL had included an alternate soft option but it was not risk management focused. He now considers there may not be sufficient sand from the notch to provide the amount MHL suggests is needed for a long term solution. The quantity of sand needed will involve dredging, which in turn will require an EIS and associated oncosts.

A storm water engineer is going to be appointed to design the storm water drains. Work on the drains is critical ahead of the next east coast low.

Clr Wells reminded the meeting that the funds secured by Gareth Ward for the project is tourism money, intended to beautify the region and optimise visitation. Since the opening of the Berry bypass, business in Shoalhaven Heads is down 30%. This is an opportunity to rebuild the local economy, improve recreational amenity and productivity. But it should be done safely. Paul Ell agreed that Mr Ward wants the Taskforce to maintain that focus.

Clr Wells recommended the Taskforce receive the report and ask MHL for a detailed briefing with this meeting and Council staff to explain what is practical, and how the proposals will work. Questions should be emailed to Kelie Clarke via Janice Cormie in the Governance Unit:

RESOLVED (Robyn Flack / Clr Wells)

That the Taskforce

1.    Receive the Manly Hydraulics Laboratory technical review of the WRL River Road Coastal Option Report titled MHL2595 – Review of River Road Foreshore, Shoalhaven Heads: Assessment of Coastal Management Options Report dated February 2018, for information; and

2.    Note the incorporation of the following technical information in the detailed design of any future coastal erosion remediation control structure at the River Road foreshore precinct:

a.   Coastal erosion remediation structure be designed for a more conservative large river entrance opening to reduce the risk of failure.

b.   A minimum design life of 25 years for coastal erosion remediation structure be adopted.

3.    That Manly Hydraulic Laboratory (MHL) be requested to give a briefing to this Committee on their ‘Review of River Road Foreshore, Shoalhaven Heads: Assessment of Coastal Management Options Report”. (Matt Blacka to be invited.)




SH18.4       Updates on the Review of the Lower Shoalhaven River Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan

HPERM Ref: D18/133816

Phil Guy asked about the status of funding for this study. It was clarified the funds have been received from NSW OEH, a total of $230,000 with Council’s co-contribution. The study will take considerable time, being completed in 2020. Council has been advised by Cardno they are undergoing a restructure, which may impact our project delivery times. Kelie Clarke confirmed the flood management study is relevant to the Coastal Managment Plan (CMP) but stands alone. There is also a standalone entrance management plan which the flood study will inform, but the CMP itself will not be signed off until 2020 by the State government. She also confirmed that the flood study is not needed to develop a CMP for the purpose of seeking funding, but the OEH guidelines are extensive, applicants are required to develop a coastal management plan in a certain way, consult with community groups, and conduct risk assessments. Council will have a Shoalhaven River Management Plan and will continue to look for other funding opportunities while preparing the CMP.

Kelie explained that a feasibility study must be carried out prior to applying for dredging funding. Council will need to contribute a significant proportion - having funding put aside will be key to obtaining those grants. Council must contribute 50% to match funds. Council has agreed to resource a Grants Officer to facilitate researching funding opportunities.

Steve Short queried the ambitious timetable, and asked whether Council is also looking at an embedded maximal flood study. Kelie confirmed that Ali Sevenler who is the responsible officer and who was unable to be present will take the Question on Notice.

Mike James reported his observations of the eastern end of canal in early March, at the bottom of spring tide, when he found the walls of Comerong Island falling continuously. Last Saturday he saw that 4m of that wall has now gone. There is escalation of river flow through to Greenwell Point. This presents a risk from storm events as time goes on. He recommended this be flagged as high importance, as the next big flood will severely impact Greenwell Point.

Action: Ali Sevenler to advise whether whether Council is planning an embedded maximal flood study.

RESOLVED (Clr White / Robyn Flack)

That the Taskforce receive the report for information.



SH18.5       Shoalhaven Heads Entrance Notch Maintenance

HPERM Ref: D18/125775

Council staff were asked why the beach was being nourished in the location identified in the report, when the Shoalhaven Heads Community Forum’s intention had been to put sand on the beach in front of the caravan park. The boat ramp is affected by sand, where it forms a blockage. The sand moved during the last maintance to the beach has disappeared. The community are concerned about the current sand location, and why sand is being stockpiled – if it is not needed for now, it could be used to beautify the area in front of the caravan park.

Alasdair Stratton clarified he had met with Robyn Flack and explained Council has a limited time during which it can use the machinery to move the sand. There was no capacity to extend this time to take the sand to the preferred location, so it has been stockpiled. Council will secure the machinery again to shift the sand within next few months.

Robyn raised the issue of sand fans where the stormwater drains expel, the sand being drawn from the bank edge. Several trees have been severely undermined on the bank. She proposed the sand from the notch might be used to maintain this area. Ray Massie explained this would need Council to do a REF as the estuary is a critical bird habitat. Council will need to talk to OEH to obtain approval for ongoing maintenance if possible, or include it in the CMP.


Recommendation (Paul Ell / Phil Guy)

1.    That Council not stockpile sand removed as notch maintenance but use it to nourish the river edge in front of the Council Caravan Park and along the river edge. This is because the River Road Foreshore project may not need this sand for 18 months to 2 years and the foreshore is in need of nourishment urgently.

2.    That Council staff investigate possible long term or ongoing solutions to manage the stormwater drains sand fans.







Kelie Clarke tabled a media release from Paul Toole regarding funding being made available for coastal dredging.

See also


Robyn Flack referred to the recommendation in the geotechnics report attached to Matt Blacka’s report, that the owners of two properties on River Road be invited to monitor the area. She stressed they should be contacted. Kelie Clarke advised that correspondence had been sent out.


There being no further business, the meeting concluded, the time being 5.35pm.



Clr Mitchell Pakes







 Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce – Tuesday 21 May 2019

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SH19.1       Shoalhaven River Estuary - Coastal Management Program Progress Report


HPERM Ref:       D19/129830


Group:                Planning Environment & Development Group 

Section:              Environmental Services  

Purpose / Summary

To provide the Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce with an update on the progress of the Shoalhaven River Estuary Coastal Management Program.

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce receive the report on progress for information.




1.    Council receive the report for information.

Implications: Nil. Project continues as scheduled


2.    Choose an alternative recommendation.

Implications: This would depend on the alternative recommendation and may delay progress of the project.



The Stage 2 Coastal Reforms are being implemented by the NSW Government. The reforms are encapsulated in the Coastal Management Act 2016. The legislation requires coastal Councils to prepare Coastal Management Programs (CMPs) and seek certification of these CMPs to be eligible for funding to implement works under the NSW Government Coastal and Estuary Grants Program. A funding stream was provided in the NSW Government’s Coastal and Estuary Grants Program to assist Councils prepare Coastal Management Programs.


Project Update – 23/04/2019

Council’s grant application for the preparation of a CMP for the Shoalhaven River Estuary was successful and $75,000 was offered to Council, subject to Council providing 50% of funds required to complete the project. Council has accepted the offer of funding from NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) and allocated funds in the 2019/20 financial year.

Council has commenced work on the CMP Scoping Study for the Open Coast and St Georges Basin. This CMP was to also include Lake Conjola however, Council will now prepare a stand-alone CMP for Lake Conjola. The OEH has requested, based on advice from the NSW Coastal Council, that Council consider all estuaries as part of this scoping study to identify which estuaries will also require a future stand-alone CMP and which estuaries could be included into future combined CMPs that include more than one estuary. Council has lodged a grant variation request to seek additional funding to broaden the scope of the Open Coast/St Georges Basin CMP Scoping Study to include this assessment. A scoping study is the first phase in the preparation of a CMP. It is envisaged that this additional work will simplify the process for the preparation of all future CMPs. It has already been identified and supported by OEH through the grant, that the Shoalhaven River requires a stand-alone CMP because it is such a large catchment with many stakeholders.

Council is currently preparing a brief and tender documentation for the preparation of the Shoalhaven River CMP. The brief will include the preparation of a business case, an assessment of the risk and threats and comprehensive stakeholder and community engagement strategy.

Council will go through an open tender process for the preparation of the CMP, to select suitably qualified and experienced companies. It is intended that the tender process will occur over the June/July period 2019.


Community Engagement

Council consulted with the Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce (SHET) and Council’s previous Natural Resources & Floodplain Management Committee regarding the preparation of the CMP and the submission of the funding application. Council will also conduct focus group workshops as part of the citywide Scoping Study.

A community engagement strategy will be developed for the preparation of the Shoalhaven River CMP in accordance with the requirements of the Coastal Management Manual. This strategy will outline how and who Council will engage and collaborate with as part of the preparation of the CMP. Engagement with SHET members will be included in this strategy.





 Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce – Tuesday 21 May 2019

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SH19.2       Update on the Water Quality Monitoring Program - Shoalhaven River


HPERM Ref:       D19/150446


Group:                Planning Environment & Development Group  

Section:              Environmental Services   

Purpose / Summary

To provide the Taskforce with an update on water quality monitoring within the Shoalhaven River at Shoalhaven Heads.

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the water quality monitoring report be received for information.



1.    As recommended.

Implications: Nil.


2.    Alternative recommendation

Implications: Unknown



In 2016 Council installed a water quality monitoring buoy in the Shoalhaven River at Shoalhaven Heads after a request from the Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce (SHET) for additional monitoring. This equipment monitors physiochemical parameters such as temperature, conductivity, pH and salinity, and transmits this data in real time directly to Council’s ‘Aquadata’ webpage, which can be found at:

The equipment requires regular maintenance and calibration to prevent fouling. However, no budget was ever allocated for the installation, maintenance or upkeep of the water quality buoy so these resources have been provided using existing budget.

This equipment is beginning to reach its life expectancy and without additional resources will not be replaced.

Routine water quality monitoring has been undertaken on the Shoalhaven River since the 1990s. This has involved sampling the river between Tallowa Dam to Shoalhaven Heads. The frequency of this sampling was initially every 3 months but has been dropped back to twice a year due to increased costs, and no additional funding to carry out this work has been provided.

In recent years, this water quality data has been used by various organisations and consultants including the University of Wollongong and UNSW Water Research Laboratory (WRL) to assess the health of the river, which has been found to be in overall good condition.

The water quality monitoring program has been successfully used to investigate and identify issues at St Andrews Way, Coolangatta, where effluent systems were failing and impacting on Berry’s Bay. After extensive investigations Council has now resolved to provide sewerage infrastructure to resolve this issue. The design is currently underway with the construction of the scheme to commence in the 2019/20 financial year.

Water quality monitoring buoys were installed into Broughton Creek in 2015 and then into the Shoalhaven River at Shoalhaven Heads in November 2016. This was after a request from SHET to undertake additional water quality monitoring towards the river entrance. The equipment was gifted to Council after being decommissioned from a similar project in Botany Bay.

This was the first time Shoalhaven City Council had used such equipment and has found that the buoys require regular servicing and calibration at least every 2 weeks. This maintenance involves swapping over sondes (water quality probes with multiple sensors), defouling or replacing the probes to remove barnacles and any biofilm, and calibration of the same.

Council is currently experiencing issues with the water quality buoy located in Broughton Creek. It has not been communicating with the server and after a process of elimination it has been found that the sending unit has failed and needs replacing. The replacement cost for the sender unit is $6,000. The total replacement cost of one buoy is $26,000 ($15,000 for the sonde, the sender unit is $6,000 and $5,000 for the plastic buoy). This price does not include installation or labour costs. It is expected that the Shoalhaven Heads buoy will succumb to the same problem over time and this maintenance cost has not been adopted in Council’s budget.

Council does not have an operating budget for the maintenance of these buoys. Any replacement parts and upkeep are taken from the existing, limited water quality budget. This is currently $61,000 for the whole of Shoalhaven’s 22 catchments. This budget has not been increased for a number of years, although expectations in this regard from the community have risen markedly, particularly in regard to the provision of information relating to water quality associated with recreational usage.

As a result of the limited budget and increasing costs the frequency of routine monitoring of each catchment has been reduced from once per quarter to twice a year and the number of sites sampled also reduced.


Aquadata displays water quality test results within just a couple of days of the completed laboratory analysis. Users are able to navigate to any site using an interactive map, view result tables and graphs on-screen and even download or print reports showing results from the present to several years ago. The parameters currently updated include enterococci, faecal coliforms, total nitrogen and total phosphorus and chlorophyll A.

Environmental Services is currently undertaking the planning and design work to add additional functionality to the Aquadata portal so that water quality parameters taken in the field such as dissolved oxygen, temperature, salinity, conductivity and pH can be uploaded directly to the internet. It is expected that this functionality will be available by the end of June. The Aquadata portal was the first of its kind in the State and possibly Australia, in the dissemination of historical and current water quality data.


Community Engagement

The community are becoming more and more interested and concerned about their local waterways. Whether those concerns relate to suitability for recreational activities or for the overall health of the ecosystem.

Councils water quality program and AQUADATA portal are tools to educate and facilitate community engagement and to disseminate the water quality data that Council collects.


Financial Implications

If Councils water quality monitoring program does not receive additional funding, projects such as the water quality buoys will no longer be sustainable and will need to cease.



 Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce – Tuesday 21 May 2019

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SH19.3       Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce - Review of Purpose, Objectives and Achievements


HPERM Ref:       D19/159421


Group:                Planning Environment & Development Group 

Section:              Environmental Services  

Purpose / Summary

Present recent resolution of Council in regard to a report from the Coastal Estuary and Floodplain Management Liaison Group and provide information on the SHET objectives and achievements.

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the Taskforce

1.    Receive the report for information; and

2.    Review the purpose/objectives of the Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce.




1.    As per recommendation

Implications: The SHET purpose and objectives would be reviewed, in accordance with the restructure of the Shoalhaven Flood and Coast and Estuary Committee/Group


2.    Propose an alternative recommendation

Implications: Implications would be dependent on the content of the recommendation



On 31 July 2012 Council adopted the following resolution.

a)      A separate committee of Council to be called "Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce' be formed to examine options for pursuing a partial or complete opening of Shoalhaven Heads;

b)      This taskforce be charged with reviewing Councils Current Entrance and Estuary Management Plans for Shoalhaven Heads;

c)      All matters relating to proposals for the Shoalhaven Heads opening be presented to the abovementioned taskforce with no further matters being reported to other committees of Council;

d)      This taskforce shall report directly to Council;

e)      The taskforce include community members that would be affected by a possible opening of the Heads and they be sought through an expressions of interest process.




This resolution also adopted the following purpose of the Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce:

·    Examine options for pursuing a partial or complete opening of Shoalhaven Heads

·    Review Councils Current Entrance and Estuary Management Plans for Shoalhaven


·    Report directly to Council


In October of 2018 Council resolved to disband the Shoalhaven Natural Resources and Floodplain Management Committee, and form three smaller locally based committees, to facilitate locally based input into the coast/estuary and floodplain management plans and policies.

Following this, a meeting of the Coast Estuary and Floodplain Management Liaison Group, which comprises Councillors, Council Staff and State Government Agency Staff, met on 23 March 2019. The following resolution was subsequently adopted by Council at its meeting on 30 April 2019.

That Council

1.       Note the following recommendations for information.

a.       Note that the Floodplain Development Manual requires a committee; however, the Coastal Management Act does not require a formal committee that requires community engagement for the development of coastal management programs.

b.       Adopt an alternative model for floodplain risk management, comprising three (3) Advisory Committees – North, Central and South – that would report to Council.

c.       Establish an interim Shoalhaven Coast and Estuary Committee initially comprising Councillors, staff and government agency representatives until the Coastal Management scoping study is completed.

d.       Conduct focus group workshops to obtain community input during the preparation of the citywide Coastal Management Plan Scoping Study and review the model for the group after the CMP Scoping Study is complete.

e.       Ensure the Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce will continue independently on the same basis as at present and be encouraged to participate in delivery of the new model.

f.        Initiate a strong communication program to explain how Council is now working in accordance with the Floodplain Development Manual and the new Coastal Management Act.

2.       Staff provide a report to the Ordinary Meeting outlining the legislative requirements and the reasons for a proposed alternative model for coastal and estuary issues.

3.       Invite OEH and other relevant government agencies to a Councillor Briefing to explain the planning processes for flood risk management and the Coastal Management Framework.


As the per the above resolution, the structure and purpose of the new three Floodplain Risk Management Groups and the Shoalhaven Coast and Estuary Groups will have a new role and purpose in relation to community engagement.

The focus of these groups will be on collaborating and engaging with local communities on the development of Floodplain Risk Management Plans and Studies and the development of Coastal Management Plans, under the Coastal Management Act 2016 and the Coastal Management Manual.

The three Floodplain Risk Management Groups will have defined roles as per the NSW Floodplain Development Manual. A further report will be provided to Council on the legislative requirements and purpose of these groups and the Coast and Estuary Management Groups.

Considering these recent changes to Council’s framework, it may be relevant to review the purpose and/or objectives of the Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce to ensure it aligns with the above.

This is also important to avoid crossover of roles and purposes of the new northern Floodplain Risk Management Group, when reviewing and managing projects, such as the Shoalhaven River Floodplain Risk Management Plan and the Shoalhaven River Estuary Coastal Management Plan.

Part 1 e. of the above resolution clearly states that SHET will continue independently of the new structure for community engagement on coast/estuary and floodplain management. However, the resolution does ask that SHET be encouraged to participate in the delivery of the new structure.


SHET Objectives and Achievements

Council sought submissions from SHET members to objectives and achievements that the members consider valuable. The following is a list of the submissions provided to Council:



At the SHET meeting of 20 November 2017, the immediate, short term and long-term objectives of the Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce were resolved as follows.

1.       Storm-water Management River Road (immediate)

a.            Redirect three storm-water outlets along River Road in front of the Hotel

2.       River Road Erosion Control Works (immediate)

a.       Undertake urgent remedial work from Matt Black’s report and create a sand buffer along River Road to reinforce erosion control works and provide a recreational space around foreshores.

b.       Further consideration to be given to moving the channel further out from the bank. Create a sand buffer along River Road to reinforce erosion control works and provide a recreational space around foreshores.

3.       Trial Geotechnical Groynes (medium)

a.       Design and commission groyne system into ocean at entrance to direct flow at the next flood event by producing an entrance design using the groyne system illustrated in WRL Report 2015.

b.       The design to include a dune care works programme that compliments the groyne system and encourages a narrower entrance that scours deeper rather than wider entrance during a flood event.

4.       Dredge or Dragline Programme (medium)

a.       Investigate alternative boating channels to help protect foreshore sand buffers by providing a more direct access to main river basin.

b.       Around Holiday Haven Caravan Park and River Road foreshore to provide wider bank buffers and restore clean sand, water recreation and boating with better water depth


5.       Pursue Commercial Dredging (long term)

a.       Options in the Shoalhaven River of Old Man Gut and Kurrajong Island that can offset the cost of maintenance dredging in the basin at Shoalhaven Heads.

6.       Submerged wall or groyne System at O’Keefe’s Point (long term)

a.       Investigate placing a groyne or groynes along the river bank near O’Keefe’s point deflecting flow from Berry’s Canal towards Shoalhaven Heads


Council provided a report on the feasibility and approvals required to achieve these objectives, which was received by SHET.

Additional objectives of the SHET also include the following.

·    Assist Council in preparation of the Shoalhaven River Coastal Management Plan 

·    Assist Council in the development and preparation of the Lower Shoalhaven Flood Risk Management Study/Plan

·    Report directly to Council

·    Investigations to increase flow to the Shoalhaven Heads Estuary

·    Reduction of flow via Berry’s Canal to address erosion and flood mitigation

·    Control of siltation at the entrance to Berry’s Canal

·    Negotiate a commercial proposition between Cleary Bros and Council to remove sand from the southern side of Kurrajong Island.

·    With the reference to the formation of the Northern Flood Risk Management Committee and the proposed Shoalhaven Coast and Estuary Management Group. The Community members of SHET see that the SHET has direct input to council with regards to the management of the Estuary at the Heads, the river and banks between the Heads and Berry’s Canal, Berry’s Canal, and Greenwell Point re Erosion, Flood mitigation, Water Quality, Navigation Issues, and general appearance and condition.


The Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce members provided the following list of their achievements regarding increasing awareness of the issues affecting the health of the Shoalhaven River Estuary have been as follows.

1.   The Community Members of SHET have been successfully keeping a focus on the SHET objectives within all levels of Government, examples are – Tour of the estuary, Shoalhaven River from the Heads to Berry’s Canal, Berry’s Canal and Greenwell Point re erosion issues, flooding issues, river flow, water quality and navigation issues with Fiona Phillips (Labour Candidate for Gilmore) & Katrina Hodgkinson (Nats Candidate for Gilmore); Meetings with Tony Bourke (Labour Environment Shadow Minister); Meetings with Gareth Ward (Member for Kiama); Meetings with NSW Cabinet Ministers, Melina Pavey and Matthew Kean during Cabinet meeting event in Nowra; Meetings with various councillors within Shoalhaven City Council.

2.   The Community members of SHET be involved in localised projects to ensure alignment between Council SHET & Community expectations.

3.   The Community members of SHET are continually seeking and monitoring local observations and needs of residents of the Heads and surrounding areas.

4.   The Community members of SHET have been disseminating council information and council’s complex management strategies in a way that is understood by the locals via the CCB Forum and Community Information days.

5.   The Community members of SHET are constantly monitoring Council’s complex management strategies such as the Dry Notch; Water Quality; Bank erosion; Flood mitigation; Progress re Review of Risk Management Study and Plan; Sand movement at the Surf Club; Acid Sulphate Soil Project.

6.   Membership on the previous Shoalhaven Natural Resources and Floodplain Management Committee

7.   Assistance and community facilitation on the preparation of the Lower Shoalhaven River Flood Risk Management Study

8.   Assistance and community facilitation with the Shoalhaven Heads – River Road Foreshore Precinct Rehabilitation Project

9.   Assistance and community facilitation on the review of the Shoalhaven River Entrance Management Policy review

10. Development, with Council and the Shoalhaven Heads SLSC, the Shoalhaven Heads Dune Management Action Plan

11. Assistance and community facilitation for the community information day held on the management of the Lower Shoalhaven River

12. Assistance with the development of the Lower Shoalhaven Drainage Remediation Action Plan - WRL

13. Assistance with the development of the research into the management options for improving flows of the Shoalhaven River at Shoalhaven Heads

14. Assistance and community facilitation with the Shoalhaven River Flood Notch maintenance works


Community Engagement

Council consults with the Shoalhaven Heads Estuary Taskforce regarding matters relating the Shoalhaven River at Shoalhaven Heads.