New detailed geoscience mapping of the NSW North Coast, which will strengthen planning and conservation management of the State’s major growth areas, have been released by the Department of Primary Industries.

“The new mapping of the coastal regions extends from north of Newcastle to Tweed Heads, and from south of Wollongong to Eden and was jointly funded through the NSW Government’s Comprehensive Coastal Assessment and the Department of Primary Industries,” John Watkins, Assistant Director Regional Mapping for DPI, said.

The Department of Primary Industries mapping of the surface and shallow sub-surface sedimentary rocks and soil represents a major upgrade of geological mapping of NSW coastal lowlands.

A series of nine maps covering the North Coast will be released by the Department.

An equivalent set of maps and notes for the South Coast is planned for release in early 2009.

“Planning in this region is a major issue for government, with the population growth along the coast placing immense demand on our natural resources,” Mr Watkins said.

“This new dataset can be used in so many ways and will be essential for regional natural resource assessment, land use planning, identification of natural hazards and conservation management along our coastal region.

“The maps identify NSW coastal lowlands and coastal areas prone to erosion, sedimentation, acid sulphate soil, subsidence and will lead to better ecological health of coastal waterways.

“The maps will greatly assist scientific research on potential impacts of sea-level rise and determine possible effects from global warming.

“These maps will be an essential tool well into the future as the State plans for the projected population growth.”