Beach home buyers will no longer have to play guessing games

THE NSW Government has moved to ensure coastal property buyers are given clear and accurate advice by Council on the impacts of coastal hazards such as erosion and flooding.

Planning and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard said a draft planning circular, which went on public exhibition yesterday, recommended councils distinguish between current and future hazards on Section 149 certificates.

Section 149 certificates alert purchasers to risks on the land which can restrict development, such as whether building is subject to flood related development controls.

"We want to ensure property owners and buyers are given clear, accurate and up to date information on coastal hazards," Mr Hazzard said.

"It is sensible to clearly separate current and future hazards.

"Councils need to make that decision based on sufficiently accurate and complete information that is as reliable as possible and is not broad brush, but which takes into account relevant information about local conditions.

"What this planning circular delivers is certainty - certainty and consistency for councils, property owners and property buyers."

The new planning circular follows advice to the NSW Government from the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer who examined this issue in April 2012.  She in turn took advice from leading experts in sea level rise, CSIRO's Dr John Church and Dr John Hunter from the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre. The Coastal Expert Panel has also provided advice to the NSW Government to help refine its approach.

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