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The Coastwatchers Association Incorporated is the leading community environmental and conservation group serving the South Coast of NSW, principally in the Shire of Eurobodalla between Narooma and Batemans Bay.

Welcome to our website. We aim to provide information and resources in this website such that it can be used as a significant community resource. We welcome comments or suggested improvements (click the envelope icon on the right to email).

The Association aims to protect the local environment, and preserve the integrity of the ecological systems of the South Coast of NSW. It opposes the unnecessary destruction and degradation of natural systems, unbalanced development and pollution. It opposes threats to the survival of plant and animal species and communities.

It adopts a responsible approach, using political, social and legal avenues to oppose or support issues impacting on this region. The Association works closely with other groups in the region and is a member of the NSW Nature Conservation Council, the National Parks Association of NSW, and the (NSW) SE Region Conservation Alliance.

Subject to feedback from Coastwatchers members, the management committee proposed that the priority campaigns for 2018 be:

Forests – focusing on defeating RFA (Regional Forestry Agreement) renewals, contributing to the campaign to end native forest logging and opposing local intensive logging such as Mogo State Forest.
Marine Parks at State (NSW) and Commonwealth level
Eurobodalla Planning/Development and Coastal Management

General Issues include:

Local Government planning issues, such as Local Environment Plans, Development Control Plans and Development Applications;
Rural Lands Study;
Heritage Studies;
Providing representatives to serve on various committees such as the Eurobodalla Shire’s Coastal Environment Management Advisory Committee;
Tree Protection and Land Clearing;
Global Warming and Sea Level Change;
Seeking sensible constraints on forestry practices;
Koala Studies;
Jet Ski Usage;
The Management of Nature Reserves and National Parks in the Shire;
The development and dedication of the Eurobodalla National Park and the Batemans Marine Park;
Bushfire prevention; and
Management of the Shire’s Community Lands.

Southern Issues include:

Brou Landfill;
Dargues Gold Reef Mine 2010 and 2015-16;
Stopping the Shooting Ranges at Gulaga (Mt. Dromedary);
Opposing Huntfest at Narooma; and
Lawlers Creek Dam

Northern Issues include:

Stopping the proposed Mogo/Charcoal plant;
Bangalay Sand Forest Protection and Biodiversity;
North Head Moruya/Airport/ Bengello developments;
Planning and Construction of major roads, such as the Surf Beach Bypass;
Batemans Bay Dredging;
Policies for Submerged Lands and Erosion;
Major Resort Developments;
Murramarang National Park Extension; and
Preservation of the Cullendulla Wetlands.

Managed/contributed to the following campaigns

Type of group

Incorporated Association

Primary environmental focus

Conservation & Protection

Geographic sphere or activity


Primary location

New South Wales

Known address

PO Box 521
Batemans Bay NSW 2536

Website link/s

Founding Year


History of group

In 1983, an environmentalist Penny Van Oosterezee, was so concerned with the direction of development in the Eurobodalla Shire, she called a public meeting for Saturday 1 October 1983 at the old Batemans Bay Primary School. She was concerned with the threat of high-rise development in the Shire, and the ad hoc policy approach for tourism development, especially at Durras. The proposed construction of the Broulee to airport road was also of major issue because of its impact on the surrounding environment.

About 140 people attended the meeting, residents from Narooma to Termeil and non-resident ratepayers, many from the Canberra region. There were many speakers including Penny Van Oosterezee, John Hatton MP Member for South Coast, Dr Richard Mason, President of the NSW National Parks Association and Judith Wright the poet and environmentalist. The meeting agreed to the proposal prepared by Penny Van Oosterezee, to form a group called ‘Coastwatch’, which was later renamed ‘The Coastwatchers’.

An interim committee was formed comprising (alphabetical order) Jeff Aschmann, Rosemary Brissenden, Sue Curran, Rita Davis, Harry Higgs, Neville Gough, John Rowland and Ken Taylor. The Association was subsequently formed, with Rosemary Brissenden the inaugural President and John Rowland the inaugural Secretary. The Association was unincorporated, but after the NSW Associations Incorporation Act 1984 became operative during 1985, the Association made application and was incorporated on 7 July 1986.

The new Association had little time to plan, and was immediately involved with the extraordinary Eurobodalla Council election being held on 10 December 1983 some two months after Coastwatchers formation. This extraordinary election resulted from the sacking of the previous Councillors in 1982, and appointment of an Administrator by the NSW Government.

Over the past 30 years, the Association has been involved in many major and minor environmental issues throughout the region. It has been a leader for the community for these causes and a frontline defender of the local environment.

The issues it addresses are extensive and geographically range throughout the region. Some are generic and others relate to specific locations or developments. Overall the Association has raised environmental awareness in the community and improved the decision making processes at all levels of government, by its lobbying and strategic approach to the issues.

The Association is proud of its achievements over the past 30 years. In particular, it has supported and sought amendments to planning and development decisions in the Shire, in order to protect environmental and conservation issues. The Association opposed proposals, which by any standard would have adverse impacts on the environment and beauty of the coast – the very reason why people are attracted to this coastal region.

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South East Region Conservation Alliance Has the following member groups Agent