What is the aim of the strategy?

    The Lakes Entrance Growth and Adaptation Strategy (also known as LEGAS) will provide a framework for ensuring Lakes Entrance can:

    • Grow positively in the future
    • Provide and respond to the changing needs of residents and businesses, and
    • Adapt to any challenges that it may face brought about by growth or environmental pressures such as flooding.

    The LEGAS will build on detailed work conducted in the past and will develop a range of actions for the future to ensure Lakes Entrance continues to be a great place to live, work and visit.

    The Lakes Entrance Growth and Adaptation Strategy (LEGAS) will develop a framework to ensure Lakes Entrance can grow positively into the future.

    We want to work collaboratively with residents, business owners and others with an interest in the future of Lakes Entrance to make sure that any growth planned for the town can adapt to these pressures and ensure that the strategy incorporates the aspirations of the community for the future.

    The project has been staged so that everyone can learn about each technical part and ask lots of questions.

    Our aims are to:

    • Listen to the community in each aspect of the project, including the development of alternatives.
    • Help the community learn about and adapt to their role in the future of Lakes Entrance.
    • Adopt an integrated planning approach where all project components are recognised as influencing each other.
    • Deliver a sustainable growth plan for Lakes Entrance that recognises and continues its role as a vibrant regional township with its own economic strengths (e.g. tourism and the fishing industry).
    • Adapt to natural and environmental risks in an innovative and comprehensive way over time.
    • Incorporate local values and knowledge into actions and decision-making.
    • Provide clarity and greater certainty about how the town my grow in the future, for the community, investors and government agencies.
    • Recognise and respond to projected changes, future opportunities and risks.
    • Set an example for other coastal towns and regions.
    • Have regard for the history, culture, character, environment and the community of Lakes Entrance.

    More information is set out in the first Project Bulletin for the Lakes Entrance Growth and Adaptation Strategy, which can be downloaded from the document library on this webpage.

    What is the role of Victorian and Local Government?

    The Lakes Entrance Growth and Adaptation Strategy is supported by East Gippsland Shire Council and the Victorian Government.

    The Victorian Government is one of the project leaders and wants to hear from you.

    By addressing the big issues, the Strategy will have longevity and provide guidance for the future of the town.

    The project process has been designed with an evidence-based approach, meaning the plan will have strong strategic justification to ensure Victorian and Local Government support in future.

    How is the strategy funded?

    The strategy is being developed as a pilot project in Victoria with substantial funding that has been provided by the Victorian Government together with resources and staff provided by East Gippsland Shire. 

    East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority and Officers from Department of Environment Land Planning and Water have also provided significant support to Council. 

    These partner agencies have contributed to the development of the project approach and offered expert advice. They will continue as partners in the delivery of the strategy.

    The strategy will build on work that has been completed by the Victorian Government to understand the nature of future hazards that may impact on the Gippsland Lakes and Ninety Mile Beach. 

    In April 2014, the then Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (now the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning - DELWP) finalised the Gippsland Lakes/90 Mile Beach Local Coastal Hazard Assessment Project. Details of this project have been recently released and can be found here.

    East Gippsland Shire participated in the development of this technical report. The overall objective of the project was to identify and assess the coastal erosion and inundation hazards for the entire Gippsland Lakes System and the Ninety Mile Beach under both present and future climate change conditions.

    This Local Coastal Hazard Assessment is one of many studies funded by the Victorian Government to provide sound information about the likely future hazards in a number of representative coastal environments across Victoria.

    This report provides the most up to date technical information to guide the development of the strategy by improving our understanding of the coastal processes occurring in the Gippsland Lakes and coastal barrier and identifying the potential hazards that need to be taken into account.

    More information about the purpose of a Local Coastal Hazard Assessment can be found here.

    Who will prepare the strategy?

    The project team is made up of East Gippsland Shire Council, the Victorian Government, and a consultant team.

    The consultant team is made up of experts from a range of fields covering the issues affecting Lakes Entrance in future – planning, tourism, economics, heritage, water and environmental processes.

    The project team includes planning specialists who are experienced in community engagement and we will ensure that there are many opportunities to ask questions of the team and be involved in the development of recommendations, at key stages of the project.

    The consultant team brings strong professional experience in the preparation of adaptation strategies.

    EthosUrban: the lead consultant and primary interface for the project, responsible for:

    • Project management and coordination;
    • Urban Design;
    • Land Use Planning;
    • Climate Change and Adaptation Planning; and
    • Community and Stakeholder Engagement Support.

    Social Fabric Planning for People: the consultation lead for the strategy and will assist in the assessment of social impacts.

    Urban Enterprise: who are responsible for:

    • Tourism industry analysis;
    • Economic development opportunities;
    • Demographic and property market assessment;
    • Land demand and supply; and
    • Identification and assessment of economic development risks

    BMT WBM: who will provide technical analysis, options development as assessment regarding flooding and coastal processes.

    Ecology Heritage and Partners: who will provide expert advice in relation to: Ecology, Cultural Heritage and Bushfire Risk.

    One Mile Grid: who provide specialist advice in relation to traffic and transport matters.

    Aither: who will provide cost benefit analysis expertise should this be required to test the different growth and adaptation options.

    What work has been undertaken to date?

    In recent years, a lot of background work has been undertaken to understand the issues facing Lakes Entrance. This project will build on that knowledge and will not start from scratch.

    The project team will partner with the community, to contribute to solutions that will work for the local and regional community, as well as East Gippsland Shire Council and the Victorian Government.

    Why do we need this project?

    Change is inevitable. Lakes Entrance has grown and changed over its long history. The area will continue to change in the future.

    This project will provide a chance to learn how Lakes Entrance might change into the future if current trends continue unchecked. It also provides an opportunity for community aspirations to influence how Lakes Entrance could positively change into the future.

    A well-justified, evidence-based strategy will help secure financial and policy support from the State and federal governments for future projects within the town.

    How long will it take to develop the strategy?

    It is anticipated that the strategy will take two years to develop from start to finish. The project approach has been designed recognising the following:

    • The need to enable the Lakes Entrance community to fully engage in the process in a way that means they feel informed about what the future might look like. We recognise it takes time to properly provide considered input about the best way to respond to challenges and opportunities.
    • This is the first time that we have developed such a comprehensive Growth and Adaptation Strategy – in fact the approach we are taking may not have been implemented before in Victoria. This means that we may need to learn and adjust the project as we proceed.
    • The project is broken down into logical stages, however the exact nature of some stages will be dependent on what we learn from early investigations and assessment and importantly what the Lakes Entrance community tells us in the first phases of the project. We may need to be adaptable along the way depending on what we grow to understand as the project progresses.
    • The complexity of the stakeholders including Government, business, private individuals, service agencies and community service providers means that developing a truly agreed and integrated strategy will require time for everyone to understand and participate effectively.
    • We can act on what we learn along the way where it is clear that action can be implemented through existing processes in Lakes Entrance or other locations around the Gippsland Lakes.

    The indicative Timeline and Project Lifecycle is available to view on this webpage.

    How you can get involved

    As the development of the strategy proceeds, there will be many opportunities for community members and stakeholders to contribute to and inform the process. Advice about these opportunities will be provided through our engagement channels, particularly the project website.

    We encourage you to subscribe to the Lakes Entrance Connect newsletter so that we can send you advice and updates on what is happening in Lakes Entrance. The latest newsletter and the opportunity to become a subscriber can be found here.

    The project team will share information organised in themes that are summarised and presented in plain English.

    When can I have my say?

    There are multiple opportunities to get involved in the project as it proceeds through different stages, including events, surveys, online feedback forms and formal submissions.

    East Gippsland Shire Council will work collaboratively with residents and business owners to deliver a strategy for a prosperous Lakes Entrance. It will incorporate the aspirations of the community, create a shared understanding of local issues and enable everyone to have a say in the town’s future.

    A Community Panel representing different sectors of the community (e.g. business, environmental, social) has been formed and will provide advice on the development of the strategy and the execution of the project (see below).

    How often can we be involved?

    The project will run over two years and will include many opportunities to get involved.

    In this Stage, a Community Workshop on the May 3, drop-in sessions and Project Hub will allow you to visit the project from April 19 to May 28, 2018 and have your say face-to-face.

    What type of information will be publicly available?

    The plan recognises there won’t be one solution and will consider a range of options to respond to the challenges Lakes Entrance is currently facing (planning, engagement, economics and tourism, to flooding and coastal processes, ecology, cultural heritage and bushfire risk, traffic and transport, and cost benefit analysis).

    The consultant team will make all information about LEGAS publicly available and easy to access. We will use established community networks.

    The consultant team will engage in a timely and open manner.

    The consultant team will ensure that all opportunities for consultation maximise the number of people participating, by employing a range of engagement techniques at a variety of different times and locations, attracting a range of voices to the conversation.

    Consultants outside the project team, such as other flood experts and insurance specialists, will present to the community and aid in understanding the information presented.

    Who is the Community Panel, what will they do and who is involved?

    The Community Panel will be a key link between the consultant team, East Gippsland Shire Council and local people – they will report back to you when the consultant team are away and be able to answer questions about the project.

    The project method has been designed to identify and protect the things that are most important to the community.

    How will the information I provide be used?

    East Gippsland Shire Council is committed to ensuring this process is inclusive and responsive. They will create many opportunities throughout the project for people to be involved and for their local lived experience to be heard.

    The project team’s aim is to share and explain technical work while building relationships with the community and learning about local values and aspirations. They will distil complex information into clearly explained concepts and ideas.

    The project team has designed a program of engagement activities that will provide opportunities for the public to learn about the issues and opportunities facing the township, so that we can have an informed conversation about the future of Lakes Entrance.

    The consultant team aims to develop an integrated approach, working closely with the community to understand and respond to the current and future impacts that come with working and living near the coast.

    Feedback and information from the local community and the Community Panel will be used to help develop recommendations later in the project.

    Information produced will be shared at key points throughout the whole project, in Community Engagement Summaries, including how community feedback has been used, and what influence it has had on the project.

    How will the project be delivered?

    The project team will present information at different stages throughout the project to help make decisions.

    At the end of the project, the Strategy will outline the rationale for a preferred way forward.

    We will help the community understand the risks and potential solutions. The community will help identify key issues and solutions, including planning for emergencies and protecting the things they value the most.

    The consultant team will combine technical knowledge about the environment and local flooding, with what local people think is important in Lakes Entrance.

    Specifically, LEGAS will help everyone understand the extent and potential consequences of the flooding risk.

    We will explore a range of mitigation and risk management solutions available to the township as a whole.

    The project will build on past studies and the consultation undertaken, rather than beginning from a ‘blank slate’.

    We will develop a flexible and responsive Plan that can adapt as new information becomes available.

    The LEGAS project will recommend new governance arrangements to monitor and respond to change and risk in the future.

    What will the final plan include?

    LEGAS will identify options for managing population growth into the future around key themes.

    The project will provide a framework to coordinate future government and private sector investment and decisions.

    Our economic team will work directly with local business leaders and operators to understand today’s challenges and help identify future opportunities.

    What are the project outcomes going to be?

    The project outcomes for this stage are:

    • A summary of economic drivers and trends
    • A flood risk model and future projections
    • An ecology and bushfire risk assessment
    • A cultural heritage assessment
    • An infrastructure database and map
    • A consultation summary report.

    By the end of the project, we will prepare the final Lakes Entrance Growth and Adaptation Strategy, which will contain recommendations about:

    • Managing flooding
    • The future town boundary
    • Where different use and development should occur
    • Climate change and adaptation management
    • Economic development opportunities
    • An implementation plan outlining how the strategy will be developed over time.