The Mirror News

Community responds to draft Coastal Strategy

FURTHER points of view and submissions on how best to plan for and look after the South Gippsland coastline now and in the future are coming in as the community responds to the South Gippsland Shire Council’s draft Coastal Strategy.

The 35-page document was formally adopted and released at the open council meeting held in Leongatha on Wednesday July 19, 2023 for the second round of public comment.

The exhibition and consultation period for the draft Coastal Strategy will be open until this Sunday, August 6, 2023. 

Read the draft Coastal Strategy, take part in a short survey and provide feedback online at

The draft Strategy was developed following extensive community engagement conducted earlier this year, with the aim of supplying strategic direction for the planning of South Gippsland’s coastal areas.

The first phase of community consultation, based on the earlier Coastal Strategy Discussion Paper, ran from December 2022 to February 2023 and attracted responses from 770 people.

Of those who provided feedback, 64 per cent stated their main place of residence was South Gippsland, and just under 60 per cent were resident home owners.

A Shire spokesperson said that “the community engagement helped to expand the Coastal Strategy Discussion Paper.

“This process has led to the development of a number of short, medium and long-term actions, which are shown in the draft Coastal Strategy,” the spokesperson said.

“Now that the draft Strategy is complete, Council is once again seeking community feedback to ensure that the strategy and its associated actions, reflect the needs of the wider South Gippsland community.”

South Gippsland Shire Council Mayor, Cr Nathan Hersey, said “the draft South Gippsland Coastal Strategy is an important piece of work that will help our coastal communities to prepare for future challenges and protect our unique natural environment.

“The draft Strategy outlines how Council will respond to the management of our coastline, including work to identify and mitigate coastal hazards in order to protect our coastal communities and ecosystems,” he said.

“It also considers the impacts and opportunities for growth and development on both the natural and the built environment.

“Now, we look to our community once again to let us know if the draft Strategy reflects community feedback and expectations.

“I would like to thank everyone who provided feedback during the initial engagement period, which helped to build our understanding and inform the draft Strategy,” Cr Hersey said.

“We look forward to hearing from the community again by the August 6, 2023 deadline.”

In a message published in the draft Coastal Strategy, the Shire’s Chief Executive Officer Kerryn Ellis writes that the Strategy “provides a program of actions to help Council and our community prepare for future challenges and hazards, while acknowledging that we must also be ready to adapt and adjust the Strategy, if required.

“Updated inundation data and coastal hazard assessments would help to refine our regional predictions and any movement to state planning policy would need to be incorporated into the Strategy to ensure it has the best chance of success,” she states.

“This Strategy is not set in concrete. It is the first stone in what is likely to be a long and windy path, and we predict and accept, that there will be challenges and frustrations along the way.

“Our best chance of success is to work collaboratively with other councils, with the State Government, with local community groups and with residents,” Ms Ellis says.

“Our coastline is loved by so many, and it is going to take a shared, collaborative effort to ensure it remains protected.”

To read the draft Coastal Strategy and provide feedback by Sunday August 6, 2023, visit


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