The Lakes Entrance Growth and Adaptation Strategy (LEGAS) project, led by East Gippsland Shire Council, has wound up.
The project was born from engagement in 2010-11 by Council and the state government seeking community views on the risks and adaptation strategies associated with climate change.
At the time, there was a lot of uncertainty about the impact climate change may have on coastal areas.
Findings from that engagement process were used to develop the LEGAS project, which began in 2017.
LEGAS aimed to ensure sustainable growth for the town to 2050 and adapt to challenges from growth or environmental pressures. It also aimed to respond to changing needs of residents and businesses.
Mayor Cr Mark Reeves said priorities had changed since LEGAS began.
“This project was put on hold as Council focused on the 2019-20 bushfire response and recovery, and COVID-19. Council has completed a number of capital works projects in Lakes Entrance, so a review of LEGAS was undertaken,” Cr Reeves said.
“The review found many of the actions proposed in the Adaptation Options Paper (one of the outcomes of the project) were outside of Council's planning and operational responsibilities
"The Options Paper also has many elements which have now been actioned or are ongoing Council operations.”
After LEGAS began, the Victorian Government developed the Coastal Management Act – supported by a strategy, guidelines and regulations.
These documents mean there is now clearer guidance on the use and development of public land along the coastline.
“Council would like to thank stakeholders and community members for their valuable contributions to the LEGAS project," Cr Reeves said.
"Council is allocating substantial effort and resources to facilitating continued growth in Lakes Entrance and has completed a number of projects to improve the town’s economic, environmental and community resilience,” Cr Reeves said.
Some of these projects include:
“Council’s main planning focus for Lakes Entrance now is to provide greater certainty on planning controls for inundation and planning scheme improvements in flood-prone areas. This work will address a longstanding issue with the need to update flood mapping and implement State policy,” Cr Reeves said.