Coastal and marine

BeachThe Shire of Augusta Margaret River has a spectacular coastal environment that is exposed to the full energy of the Indian Ocean in the west and a relatively more sheltered embayment facing the Southern Ocean in the south.

The high energy west coast has a number of world renowned surfing breaks and attracts large numbers of surfers at certain times of the year. The sheltered embayment on the south coast is an ideal habitat for whales to spawn and that has created a great attraction for people to observe the mammals and their young.

The coast is a major attraction for residents and tourists, and there has been a lot of pressure exerted on the coast for residential and recreation uses. Large concentrations of surfers and beach users have led to the degradation of the coast in some areas. For this reason it is essential to establish a good coastal management regime to ensure that no irreversible damage will result.

The Shire has also experienced a high population growth rate in recent years. There is ongoing pressure to open up more coastal areas to give more and more people access to the coast. The coast is potentially an unstable landform. Sandy coasts in particular accrete and recede in response to changing coastal processes such as wind, waves and sediment supply.

Large numbers of people using the coast can destabilize coastal dunes and may cause irreversible damage. Careful planning and management is therefore needed to protect the environment.


Management of the Gracetown area shall be subject to the preparation of a Cowaramup Bay Foreshore Development Plan undertaken by Council in conjunction with the community, including the following objectives;

  • To preserve the exposed natural landscapes of the coastline;
  • To provide sufficient recreational facilities and services to cater for the long term recreational needs of the community and visitors;
  • To manage the development and use of the foreshore areas so as to protect and enhance coastal environmental features and minimise risk to public safety; and
  • To rationalise reserve boundaries and clarify jurisdictions.


The Kilcarnup Area shall be subject to a Kilcarnup Management Plan for the overall area to be developed jointly by Council and CALM, in conjunction with the community, with the primary objectives being;

  • To conserve the rugged natural coastal landscape;
  • To rationalise vehicular access to 4WD spur approach roads and select loops that do not compromise fragile dunal, limestone or dune areas;
  • To provide low-key walk-in/walk-out eco-tourism opportunities from carpark access only; and
  • To protect and enhance the important conservation values and natural resources of the area, through management of human activities, fire, pests and diseases, and coastal erosion processes.


The Prevelly Foreshore Management Plan will be used and progressively implemented by Council, in conjunction with interested parties as a series of management strategies with the following primary objectives to permit public recreation and appropriate low key development within the foreshore area;

  • To ensure compatibility with the protection of natural coastal resources;
  • To be complementary to the surrounding coastal landscape;
  • To cater for projected increases in usage; and
  • To be monitored, reviewed and updated on a five yearly basis.

Dead Finish

The Dead Finish area shall generally be retained as a natural coastline area, apart from the Abalone Farm that is presently being planned in the area. Recreational and access facilities shall be limited to small scale and visually unobtrusive development, owing to the exposed and prominent nature of this sector and the importance of preserving existing heritage values. The access road shall be rationalised to protect the fragile and highly exposed coastline, where appropriate.

Flinders Bay

Management of the Flinders Bay Area shall be subject to the development of a Flinders Bay Reserve Development Plan with the following objectives;

  • To allow ready access by all sectors of the community to the reserve facilities and shoreline;
  • To provide a high level and standard of public facility provision;
  • To preserve and enhance the heritage attributes of the site and locality; and
  • To manage the use of the site so as to retain conservation values.

East Augusta

The East Augusta Area shall be retained as an isolated natural coastline area, and Council shall continue to manage public use of the site so as to minimise access to, and use of, this portion of coastline.

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Contact the Shire

Postal Address

PO Box 61
Margaret River WA 6285

Margaret River

41 Wallcliffe Road
Monday to Friday
Ph 08 9780 5255
Fax 08 9757 2512


66 Allnut Terrace
Monday to Friday
9am-12pm, 1pm-4pm
Ph 08 9780 5255


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