Lake entrance opening policies

Council has the responsibility for the management of most entrances to coastal lakes in Eurobodalla Shire. Coastal lakes and estuaries are diverse, complex ecosystems and are well adapted to the environment they are in. This means they are constantly adapting and stabilizing, whether they are opened or closed.

Most of Eurobodalla's coastal lakes are perched behind a barrier of sand between the lake and the ocean. These barriers can be breached naturally during heavy rainfall or heavy seas, however, prior to this occurring, water builds up behind the barriers, which can flood roads, stormwater systems and private properties.

Council recognises that intermittently closed or opened coastal lakes and lagoons (sometimes referred to with the acronym ICOLLS) are governed by natural process and should be maintained with respect to that natural process unless assets are at risk of being flooded.

Typically, council does not open the entrance to a lake, creek or closed estuary because there are many reasons why artificial openings are not effective or sustainable.

'Entrance management' refers to the opening of lakes when water levels begin to cause flooding. Council aims to maintain sand barriers and coastal lakes in as close to a natural condition as possible. In doing so, managing lake entrances is a balance between maintaining natural process and preventing the flooding of assets (ie, private property etc,).

As of 1 March 2022, the 45 existing State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs) have been consolidated into 11 policies.

Any references on this page to any of the amended SEPPs outlined on the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure's website should be replaced with the new applicable consolidated policy.

Lake entrance opening levels

All levels in metres AHD
Lake Trigger level - flooding Trigger level - timeNotes
Durras 1.8 1.7 for 3 months Levels on MHL
Surfside 1.5 N/A When sand reaches top of road culvert
Joes 1.4 1.2 to 1.4 if heavy rain predicted Gauge on cycle path bridge
Short Beach 1.3 1.0 to 1.3 if heavy rain predicted Generally breaks out naturally
Wimbie 2.0 1.8 to 2.0 if heavy rain predicted Gauge on bridge at bottom of Highview Street
Coila 2.0 +1.8 for three months Levels on MHL
Measure at entrance
Tuross 2.0 0.8 for > 2 weeks Levels on MHL
Kianga 2.0 1.8 for > 2 weeks Gauge on bridge
Little 2.2 N/A No gauge - use bottom course of bricks on pump station
Bullengella No intervention
Nangudga 1.3 N/A Level will need renewal following construction of new bridge

Contact us

For more information, contact Council's Coastal Management Planner, Cameron Whiting: