WOOLI MEETING WELCOMES COUNCIL INVOLVEMENT
A meeting of Wooli community group CCPA (Coastal Communities Protection Alliance) was held on Saturday 9 June. The group formed in 2010 in response to the draft Coastal Zone Management Plan tabled by Clarence Valley Council, proposing â€œplanned retreatâ€ from Wooli village in the face of predicted coastal erosion threats.
The group ‘s vice president Peter Dunn welcomed CVC ‘s Strategic and Economic Planning Manager Dave Morrison and Environmental Planning Coordinator Scott Lenton, to what he called â€œa landmark occasion for Wooliâ€.
â€When the draft Plan was exhibited in 2010, emotions ran high with over 100 submissions to council making Wooli ‘s opposition to the â€œplanned retreatâ€ proposal loud and clearâ€ said Mr Dunn.â€ CCPA has been working with council staff for over a year on a revised strategy, and today we are sharing a community meeting with input from both community and council staff.â€
â€œToday ‘s meeting is about a process for producing a new plan that replaces the â€œplanned retreatâ€ concept with one of adaptive management. This will enable solutions for Wooli ‘s future to be based on consultation, research and verifiable planning.â€
Addressing the meeting, Mr Morrison said that the number of submissions showed CVC how concerning the draft plan was to the Wooli community. â€œThey showed the social impact on the village was a major problem. It became very apparent that there was support for considering a wider range of optionsâ€.
Mr. Morrison agreed that subsequent discussions between council and CCPA representatives have been useful in putting both parties on the same page.
He went on to say that â€œin reviewing the plan greater emphasis is likely to be put on structured and on-going data collection to inform a range of potential alternatives, and the creation of an evolving, rather than a static, management plan. Providing more clarity to development controls and a move away from â€œplanned retreatâ€ options such as land swap will all be on the table.
He stressed, however, that a revised plan needed to be reviewed and approved by Council then the State Government, with continued community involvement, hopefully in the last quarter of 2012
Mr Dunn said that a research program into Wooli beach processes was already going ahead, with council cooperation.
â€œTime-lapse photography, beach surveys and sand-trapping are under way and there are plans for underwater data collection off Wooli beach. So far, funding has come from the community, but council has been approached for assistance and has applied to the NSW government for extra funds. A thorough and current understanding of how Wooli ‘s beach system works and an intelligent and adaptive plan are crucial to finding viable options to protect Wooli.â€