Stockton Coastal Management

Stockton Coastal Management Program 2020 - 2021

Page last updated on 8 December 2020

Stockton Beach is precious to its community and to those who visit Stockton. To help protect and preserve the area, City of Newcastle (CN) has developed a Coastal Management Program (CMP) for Stockton in partnership with the local community including key stakeholders such as the Stockton Community Liaison Group.

Stockton CMP 2021

Following completion of the Stockton CMP 2020 earlier this year, we started work on the Stockton CMP 2021. In consultation with stakeholders, this will update the Stockton CMP 2020 to include the coastline north of Meredith Street to the Port Stephens Local Government Area (LGA) boundary.

Key actions will complement mass sand nourishment and will be assessed in terms of their economic and technical feasibility to obtain agreement on a suitable strategy from all affected northern landholders. The actions in the Stockton CMP 2020 will not change and will be incorporated into the Stockton CMP 2021.

Stockton CMP 2021 Who Manages What Map

Stockton CMP 2020

The Stockton CMP 2020 includes long-term actions to ensure we can help to manage, maintain and protect the coast, between the northern breakwater of the Hunter River and Meredith Street. The Stockton CMP was developed in accordance with the Coastal Management Act 2016 (CM Act) and Coastal Management Manual.

We worked closely with the Stockton Community Liaison Group, government agencies, coastal experts and members of our community to develop an achievable strategy that worked to maintain Stockton’s sense of identity.

To learn more about the development of the CMP take a look at our storyboard and for the most recent updates regarding works at Stockton Beach visit our Stockton Beach Works Update page.

Stockton CMP




View the Stockton Coastal Management Program August 2020 (PDF)


Stockton Bight Sand Movement Study

The Stockton Bight Sand Movement Study 2020 has been prepared to provide an understanding of the rates and directions of sand movement.

This information will be used in the development of the Stockton CMP 2021 to inform the assessment of each coastal management option in terms of its impact on the behaviour of the coastline. It will allow us and affected landholders to make evidenced based decisions on the best option for the area to the north of Meredith Street.

The Study confirmed that while there is a pattern of erosion moving marine sand north from Stockton Beach into the Stockton dunes, the erosion rate is increased by the reduction in sand passing the Hunter River. This decrease in sand supply is demonstrated by the deepening of the area offshore of Stockton beach and the continued erosion of the southern end of the beach. This results in the net northerly loss of sand that is a key management consideration of the Stockton CMP.

Deputy Premier's Stockton Beach Taskforce

The Stockton Beach Taskforce, chaired by the Deputy Premier, was established to drive the implementation of the sustainable long-term solutions to the coastal erosion issues for Stockton Beach. Its focus is on sand sourcing options, actions to mitigate loss of amenity and seeking funding.

Members include Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp MP, and representatives from the Worimi Aboriginal Land Council, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE), Department of Regional NSW, Port of Newcastle, NSW Coastal Council, Stockton Community Liaison Group and City of Newcastle, as well as two community representatives.

Find the minutes from previous meetings below:

Frequently asked questions

The Stockton CMP 2021 will update the Stockton CMP 2020 to include the coastline north of Meredith Street to the Port Stephens Local Government Area (LGA) boundary. This section of the beach was not included in the 2020 document because, following a number of extreme weather events, City of Newcastle was directed by the Hon. Shelley Hancock, Minister of Local Government to fast track the delivery of a CMP for Stockton that targeted the beach south of Meredith Street to the Stockton Breakwall.

Proposed management options for the Stockton CMP 2021 will complement the current goal of mass sand nourishment. These will be assessed in terms of their economic and technical feasibility to obtain agreement on a suitable strategy from all affected northern landholders. Landholders include Hunter Water Corporation, Defence Housing Australia, Family and Community Services and Department of Industry (Crown Lands).

The actions in the Stockton CMP 2020 will not change and will be incorporated into the Stockton CMP 2021.

City of Newcastle, along with all coastal councils in New South Wales, are required to prepare a CMP under the Coastal Management Act 2016 (Division 2 Section 14). The Coastal Management Act provides for the integrated management of the coast, consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development, for the social, cultural, and economic wellbeing of New South Wales.

Stockton Beach is managed by multiple agencies and organisations.

City of Newcastle manages the beach south of Meredith Street to the Stockton Breakwall, while the Department of Industry (Crown Lands), Hunter Water Corporation, Defence Housing Australia and Family and Community Housing have responsibility for the coastline north of Meredith Street to the Port Stephens LGA. See Appendix A for a map that outlines land responsibility.

As part of the development of the Stockton CMP 2021, we are collaborating with all identified stakeholders to achieve an integrated solution/s that provides benefit for the entire Stockton Bight against predicted coastal hazards, plus complements mass sand nourishment identified for South Stockton (Stockton CMP 2020).

There are 5 Stages involved in the development of a CMP. City of Newcastle has commenced Stage 3 for the development of the Stockton CMP 2021 which will run from February to October 2021.

Stage 3 looks to comprise and assess potential management options. To adequately assess the potential management options, City of Newcastle must identify them and then evaluate them considering feasibility, viability, and acceptability to stakeholders. Potential management options that are deemed feasible will have a business plan identifying how they will be funded and implemented. The business plan will also identify which organisation/stakeholder is responsible for implementation.

Stage 4 of the process is the preparation of the Coastal Management Program. This stage combines all the information generated through Stages 1 – 3 to create a document ready for certification. City of Newcastle is working towards the development of a Draft Stockton CMP 2021 by December 2021.

Agreement on a suitable strategy is required from all affected northern landholders prior to submitting the CMP for Certification. Following agreement from the northern landholders, the CMP is submitted for certification. The Department of Planning, Industry & Environment (DPIE) review and assess the CMP before it is submitted to the responsible Minister for certification.
Stage 5 of a CMP is the implementation of the actions identified

Stage 3 of a CMP looks to comprise and assess all potential management options. Management options include varied ways to manage the changing coastline against coastal hazards such as erosion, wave inundation and sea level rise.
As the certified Stockton CMP 2020 identified the investigation into Mass Sand Nourishment as the preferred management solution, all potential management options for Stockton CMP 2021 will look to compliment mass sand nourishment.
Stockton CMP 2021 has identified 16 potential management options. These include ways to keep mass sand nourishment in the Stockton beach system.

Each of the 16 potential management options are assessed via a filter which rules out options that are deemed not feasible.

The filter assesses each potential management option for its ability to assist in providing an adequate buffer against coastal hazards, assist in providing for social values including beach amenity, work in with the coastal environment and be accepted by stakeholders.

Following the filter assessment, the Stockton CMP 2021 will review four potential management schemes via a Feasibility Assessment which forms part of Stage 3 in the development of a CMP.

City of Newcastle has worked with the Deputy Premier’s Taskforce to move forward with various management actions outlined in the Stockton CMP 2020.

In December 2020, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro chaired a meeting of the Taskforce and announced his government had applied for an offshore exploration licence. This means geologists are now able to examine potential sand sources which could be used to remediate Stockton Beach in a safe and effective manner.

City of Newcastle has begun works at Barrie Crescent section of Stockton Beach on a temporary protection structure. The structure, compiled of Kyowa Rock Bags, will offer protection until such time as mass sand nourishment is achieved. These works will be completed in May 2021.

Other maintenance and protection works are also ongoing to help maintain access to the beach and manage severe weather events.

  • March 2018: The Stockton Community Liaison Group meets for the first time to seek a long-term solution to erosion at Stockton Beach.
  • February 2020: Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock directs City of Newcastle to prepare a CMP for Stockton as a matter of priority given significant community concern about ongoing coastal erosion. 
  • May 2020: The draft CMP is put on public exhibition for four weeks and the community has their say.
  • June 2020: City of Newcastle delivers the draft Stockton Coastal Management Program 2020 for review and certification under the Coastal Management Act 2020.
  • August 2020: The Stockton CMP 2020 is certified by the State Government and Newcastle becomes the first in NSW to have a coastal management program confirmed under the new coastal management framework.
  • December 2020: Works begin on the Stockton CMP 2021, which will include the coastline north of Meredith Street to the Port Stephens Local Government Area boundary.
  • December 2021: City of Newcastle plans to finalise the draft Stockton CMP 2021 and submit it to the NSW Government.

Historical Reference Material

Stakeholder and Community Engagement

The City has engaged a wide range of stakeholders, including the Stockton Community Liaison Group (SCLG), to develop the Stockton CMP.

Stockton Beach Works Updates

More information and latest updates on the response and management of erosion at Stockton Beach.