Millions of dollars worth public and private infrastructure between Stockton and Glenrock have been identified as being at risk from erosion and inundation in a new study on the likely changes that will occur along Newcastle's coastline over the next 80 years.
While properties in Stockton are at the most acute risk of being lost due to erosion, public assets at Nobbys, Newcastle, Bar Beach, Dixon Park and Merewether are also under increasing threat.
"Coastal erosion represents an immediate high risk for properties such as Barrie Crescent Reserve (Stockton) and the former Hunter Water sewage treatment plant," the City of Newcastle Coastal Management Program scoping study says.
"Ongoing erosion will increase potential properties at risk into the future."
The study is the first step in the development of Newcastle's Coastal Management Program that will inform future planning and management of the coastal zone.
Coastal inundation and water pollution resulting from projected sea level rises are of equal threat to the city's natural and built environment.
The study identifies Merewether and Newcastle Ocean Baths as being at risk from inundation, while properties along the Hunter River and Throsby Creek are at risk of inundation and water pollution.
"Properties and assets along the Hunter River, including Queens Wharf, are at highest risk of overtopping," the study says.
"The economic risk for maintenance of river wall protection structures is considered high, but the responsibility and ownership of these structures is varied."
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the plan would give the council the approval needed from the NSW Government to implement long-term management actions.
"We need to be planning and making decisions today to address the varied risks posed by climate change, erosion and a growing population," she said.
More detailed research is underway before community consultation begins later this year on how to best manage the changes.