A new Marine and Coastal Policy being developed under the Marine and Coastal Act 2018 is due for release in December 2019. The plan aims to better manage coastal eco-systems, including all public and private land and coastal waters in Victorian and 5.5 km inland of the high water mark (an extension inland on current policies). The draft policy aims to better integrate planning for marine and coastal areas, consider whole of eco-system impacts of new proposals and give greater roles to traditional owners. Priorities include managing risks such as climate change, defining coastal town boundaries, protecting non-urban breaks between settlements and improving the design and siting of buildings to better respect the coastal and marine landscape context and minimise impacts on the environment.
The draft policy supports buildings and structures that depend on being on the coast but seeks to recover crown land from those that are not dependent and limit development where there is a coastal hazard risk.
- Usually located on coastal crown land because of direct support of coastal activities – jetty, pier, marina, mooring, boat ramp, harbour, navigation aids, life- saving, observation tower
- Not necessary to be on coastal crown land but provide some support to the functioning of coastal activities and therefore may be appropriate – toilet facilities, shared trails, boardwalks and stairs, car-parking, equipment storage facilities, marine rescue facility, lifesaving clubrooms, multi-functional facilities, public lookouts, BBQs, picnic and play equipment, kiosk/café/restaurant (in an urban setting)
- Coastal Crown Land location not necessary and no provisions of support to coastal activity, to be removed/ relocated as the opportunity arises – non-water- based sporting facilities, non-maritime industrial plant and storage, private infrastructure e.g. jetties, paths, bathing boxes, fishing huts, community hall, commercial function centre, memorial plaques.The policy will be implemented through the development of new marine spatial plans (for individual marine sectors), potential changes to state and
local planning provisions, councils and catchment management authorities required to consider marine and coastal policy and any marine plans in their planning and land and water management. More information at:https://engage.vic.gov.au/draft-marine-and-coastal-policyThe Victorian National Parks Association has identified a number of weaknesses with the draft strategy – details at:https://vnpa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/ VNPA-Submission_Marine-and-Coastal-Policy.pdf