The Hacking River, with a length of 42 km from its most distant source (2 km west of Stanwell Tops) to Port Hacking Point, drains an area largely occupied by the Royal National Park to the south and the suburbs of the Sutherland Shire to the north. Port Hacking proper is the estuary from the entrance to Grays Point, at which point is the fluvial delta of the Hacking River.
This proximity to the ever increasing density of built environment, as well as increased recreational use by a growing population, creates constant pressure on the river and estuary eco-systems. Unleashed dogs, inappropriate water vehicles, illegal development, overfishing, siltation are among the many threats to this, Sydney’s last unpolluted waterway.
Sutherland Shire Environment Centre has long supported the recommendation that prevention of damage at the headwaters is the key to protection of the downstream environment. The creeks leading into the river from the urbanised side of its catchment commonly carry siltation from construction sites, litter and pollution from motor vehicles.
For a comprehensive report on the Hacking see Professor A. D. Albani and George Cotis’s 2013 report, PORT HACKING, Past and present of an estuarine environment, which was prepared to complement the Port Hacking Plan of Management.
Sutherland Shire Council also has a number of current Estuary Management Plans which it is required to prepare and implement under NSW Estuary Management Policy.