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Lake Ainsworth Coastal Management Program

Survey closes 5pm Friday 18th Jan 2019

Hydrosphere Consulting was been engaged by Ballina Shire Council (BSC) to prepare a Coastal Management Program (CMP) for Lake Ainsworth, Lennox Head. The CMP provides the long-term strategy and management actions  for this water-body. This CMP supersedes the previous Lake Ainsworth Management Plan (GeoLINK, 2002).

The project was equally funded by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment - Environment, Energy and Science – Coast and Estuaries and BSC. The preparation of the CMP was in accordance with the NSW Coastal Management Act 2016 and the NSW guidelines for coastal management. The preparation of the CMP involved the five stages listed below as delineated by the Coastal Management Manual. The manual outlines the mandatory requirements and provides guidance on the preparation, development, adoption and content of the CMP.​ The development of the CMP is a comprehensive process requiring detailed review and analysis as well as an extensive community consultation process.

Project Stages:


Stage 1 - Scoping study – involved collation of existing information, preliminary risk assessment,  community consultation strategy and scoping of technical studies to fill key information gaps. Timeline January 2018 – May 2018.


Stage 2 - Detailed studies of vulnerabilities and opportunities – involved community engagement, confirmation of key issues and concerns, field work to confirm current knowledge and completion of identified technical studies. Timeline: June 2018 – May 2019.


Stage 3 - Response indication and evaluation – involved threat consequence and risk assessment, the evaluation and identification of management options and the development of management actions. Timeline: May 2019 – August 2019.


Stage 4 - Finalise, exhibit, certify and adopt the CMP – involved the preparation of a Draft CMP for agency review and public exhibition, the identification of funding and final mechanisms to implement the CMP, compiling and addressing submissions from agencies and the community and finalisation of the CMP document for certification.  Certification by the NSW Government. Timeline: August 2019 – February 2021.


Stage 5 - Implementation, monitoring and reporting – involves the implementation of management actions from the certified CMP by BSC and involved agencies as well as the monitoring and reporting of CMP progress. Indicative timeline: Ongoing from February 2020.

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   Current Progress:

  • The Lake Ainsworth CMP has now been certified by the NSW Government under the Coastal Management Act 2016. The CMP is available for download below.

Further information on the process, including technical resources related to the implementation of these stages can be found on the OEH website here:

Community Engagement:

There is a lot of public interest in this iconic lake and community input to this plan is critical in getting the right balance in management priorities. Community members had their say via:

  • The communication portal provided below;

  • The community survey (open for 12 weeks from 22nd October 2018 to 18th January 2019); and  

  • Providing written submissions in response the Draft CMP by 6th December 2019.

  • Community drop-in session no.1 was held at the Lennox Head Surf Club 3-6pm on Tuesday 20th November 2018

  • Community drop-in session no.2 was held at the Lennox Head Community Centre 4:45-6:30pm on Tuesday 20th November 2019.

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