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Map of Cooks River Catchment Scoping Study Area

This project is supported by the NSW Government’s Coastal and Estuary Management Program. Read more about Coastal Management Programs and the Scoping Study below.

What is a Coastal Management Program?

A CMP sets the long-term strategy for the coordinated management of coastal rivers considering a range of planning horizons including immediate, 20 years, 50 years and beyond.

The CMP is to include management actions for the current use and actions for future development of the coastal river and catchment in an ecologically sustainable way, for the social, cultural and economic well-being of the people of the Cooks River catchment.

The Cooks River Catchment CMP will provide details on how and when management actions are to be implemented, their costs and proposed cost-sharing arrangements and who is responsible for implementing the actions.

What is the Scoping Study?

The Scoping Study is the first stage in the process of developing a CMP.  The Cooks River Alliance has engaged a consultant to undertake the Scoping Study.  The Scoping Study identifies the work undertaken to date on the environmental management of the catchment and areas that need addressing in the remainder of the CMP.

What area is included in the Scoping Study?

The area considered in the scoping study is the catchment of the Cooks River and adjacent airport and port.  These areas are considered due to the impact on the Cooks River and impact to the water quality of the river.

Who prepares a Coastal Management Program?

A CMP is prepared by local councils in consultation with their communities and relevant public authorities. The Cooks River catchment CMP is being coordinated by the Cooks River Alliance on behalf of our partners Bayside, City of Canterbury Bankstown, Inner West, Strathfield and Sydney Water. The Alliance is also working with state government agencies and public authorities, land managers in the catchment and the community to develop a CMP. These include:

  • Botany Bay and Catchment Alliance
  • Burwood Council
  • City of Canterbury Bankstown Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reference Group
  • City of Sydney
  • Cooks River Valley Association
  • Fisheries NSW
  • Metro Local Aboriginal Land Council
  • National Parks and Wildlife Service
  • NSW Ports
  • Port Authority of NSW
  • Randwick Council
  • Roads and Maritime Services
  • Sydney Airport
  • Wolli Creek Preservation Society

What will the final CMP look like?

Once finalised, all CMPs become publicly available documents. The CMP will include:

  • a list of issues facing the Cooks River catchment
  • actions to be implemented to enhance the values of the Cooks River
  • assessment of actions for technical feasibility, economic viability and community acceptability
  • responsibilities of different Councils, State Government agencies and other stakeholders for implementing agreed actions
  • a business plan with costs and priorities for implementing each management action
  • a coastal zone emergency action sub plan, for dealing with coastal hazards in the Cooks River catchment
  • maps showing the area covered by the CMP and the relevant coastal management areas

When will the Cooks River catchment CMP be finalised?

As part of Stage 1, a Scoping Study was completed in 2020 which identified the long term vision for the CMP – Check Scoping Study Document.

We are now working on Stage 2 of the CMP that identifies risks, vulnerabilities and opportunities in the Cooks River catchment. Since the Scoping Study was finalised, hazards have been refined and will continue to be refined as part of the later stages of the CMP.

What is happening in Stage 2?

To help identify, analyse and evaluate the risks, vulnerabilities and opportunities, during Stage 2 we will do the following studies:

1.   Condition Assessment of Waterway Assets
2.   Cooks River Report Card Establishment Plan
3.   Biodiversity Assessment
4.   Coastal Hazard Assessment

The studies will help more people in the Cooks River catchment (MAP) to understand, analyse and evaluate the ‘coastal’ management issues, opportunities and risks, and support good decision-making in the next stages.

It is expected that Stage 4 – finalisation of the CMP – will be completed by June 2024.

Can I provide any input into the Cooks River catchment CMP?

There are two ways you can contribute to the Cooks River catchment CMP.

  1. Imagine the Cooks River Community Vision Survey: Tell us your favourite places and your 2030 vision for the future of the Cooks River and catchment on this interactive map. [EDIT: Comments for this survey have now closed.]
  2. Apply to join the Cooks River Community Assembly. This group of 15 local residents will be responsible for reviewing all community survey responses to develop a vision statement for the future of the Cooks River and catchment that will guide the managing principles of the CMP. More info: cooksriver.org.au/imagine-cooks-river/   [EDIT: The vision statement has since been developed by the Cooks River Community Assembly. Read more here.]

There will be further consultation opportunities during the subsequent stages of developing the CMP, particularly during the development of suitable management actions.