Community Feedback Sought on Draft Woolgoolga Lake Plan of Management
Published on 19 September 2022
City of Coffs Harbour is seeking community input on the Draft Woolgoolga Lake Plan of Management.
The Draft Plan of Management for Woolgoolga Lake is one of a series of Plans of Management that City of Coffs Harbour is undertaking for all NSW Government Crown Reserves classified as ‘community land’ - and for which City of Coffs Harbour is the Crown Land Manager.
The Draft Plan was developed in consultation with the Coastal and Estuary Management Advisory Committee.
Following their endorsement and Council approval on 12 August 2021, the Draft Plan was submitted to the landowner - Crown Lands, a Division of the NSW Government’s Department of Planning and Environment - for approval to go on public exhibition to the wider community.
The approved Draft Plan can now be viewed on City of Coffs Harbour’s Have Your Say website. Submissions are open until Thursday 27 October 2022.
All forms of on-water activity such as boating, is managed by the NSW Government’s Transport for NSW Maritime division. Fisheries issues are managed by the NSW Department of Primary Industries, which also manages the Solitary Islands Marine Park – of which Woolgoolga Lake is part.
The main role of Council at Woolgoolga Lake is about managing the water level and lake entrance. In addition, Council can also undertake foreshore works to protect the reserve from damage caused by floods or the movement of the ocean, as well as facilities to enhance the use of the reserve by the public.
Woolgoolga Lake covers three square kilometres. Its ocean entrance sits across a beach which is regularly blocked naturally by a sand berm.
Coastal lakes like this are known as an Intermittently Closed and Open Lagoon or Lake (ICOLL) and the entrances close frequently due to natural coastal processes. Such lakes also form important habitats and fish nurseries for the Solitary Islands Marine Park.
During times of heavy rain and a closed estuary entrance, the water level of the lake can rise. So that Council can mechanically reduce the height of the sand berm to allow water to escape and lower the water level, a Woolgoolga Lake Entrance Management Procedure has been developed with agreement from all the relevant state government agencies.
The draft Woolgoolga Lake Plan of Management is separate to the Woolgoolga Lake Entrance Management Procedure, although it is the overarching legislative instrument which allows the lake entrance to be managed. Council is also developing a Coastal Management Program for the area that aligns to the Plan of Management.