Shire of Irwin Coastal Management Plan


Shire of Irwin


Dongara, Western Australia 6525

Start date:


End date:


Type of work:

Coastal Management Planning

Our planning and environmental specialists were commissioned to review and update the Shire of Irwin’s previous Coastal Management Strategy, which was completed in 2000. The new Coastal Management Plan needed to be both practical and ready to implement.

Coastal Management Plans are typically reviewed every ten years, to ensure they align with new policy, as well as social, environmental and economic factors that evolve over time. This also means the plan remains relevant and effective.

The new Coastal Management Plan focused on:

  • The entire Shire of Irwin coastline, which is approximately 75 kilometres long (excluding the Beekeepers Nature Reserve).
  • Areas that extend inland used for recreational purposes.
  • Areas south of Port Denison, which were not included in the previous plan.

In March 2020 a draft Coastal Management Plan was developed by our team. The plan provided the Shire of Irwin with practical solutions for managing the coastline over the next ten years. A core focus of the plan was coastal hazards and land use pressures impacting the area.

The entire process for developing the Coastal Management Plan consisted of five key stages:

  1. Reviewing the previous Shire of Irwin Coastal Management Strategy from 2000.
  2. Reviewing policy and regulations that had been released since the 2000 Coastal Management Strategy was published. Including State Planning Policy 2.6, which relates to coastal planning.
  3. Performing a detailed assessment of the sites along the Shire of Irwin coastline to determine how the area had changed over time, as well as current environmental pressures impacting the area.
  4. Consulting with the Steering Group, government agencies, stakeholders and members of the community.
  5. Developing strategies and actions to address current issues that had been identified.

Consultation with stakeholders was integral to developing an effective Coastal Management Plan for the Shire of Irwin, as it enabled us to understand how people use the coastline day-to-day, as well as issues faced by community groups and government agencies.

Taking these views into consideration enabled us to future-proof strategies, which would protect the Shire of Irwin’s treasured coastline over the long term.

The Coastal Management Plan was adopted by the Shire of Irwin Council in mid-2021.  The plan included a framework for implementation, which would allow the Shire of Irwin to ensure coastal management was adequately taken care of in future budgets.

The framework consisted of the following key elements:

  • Practical actions – required to protect the coastline areas; prioritised for easy implementation.
  • Allocation of responsibilities – to ensure the correct landowner or manager understood how each site needed to be handled.
  • Monitoring and review processes – to assess ongoing success of the plan and ensure desired outcomes are achieved, as well as possible amendments for future success.
  • Funding sources – to assist the Shire of Irwin with identifying external funding sources for activities that require additional support.
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