Farewell to the Western Coastal Board
A new chapter in the management and oversight of Victoria’s marine and coastal environments begins with the recent passage by the Victorian State Government of the Marine and Coastal Act 2018. This change means the end of the regional coastal boards, whose functions of the regional coastal boards will now be performed by a combination of strengthened coastal catchment authorities (regional planning, facilitation and advice), the Marine and Coastal Council (advice), and through Regional and Strategic Partnerships (RASPs). For a full picture of the package of reforms to establish the Marine and Coastal Act, please visit coastsandmarine.vic.gov.au/marine-and-coastal-act.
This Act, complemented by Victoria’s Marine and Coastal Reforms Final Transition Plan (PDF, 7.9 MB) released on 1 August 2018, is intended to provide a simpler, more integrated and coordinated approach to planning and managing the marine and coastal environment:
- enabling protection of the coastline and the ability to address the long-term challenges of climate change, population growth and ageing coastal structures
- ensuring that partners work together to achieve the best outcomes for Victoria’s marine and coastal environment.
Key elements include:
- clear objectives and guiding principles
- simpler advisory arrangements (including the introduction of a new Marine and Coastal Council)
- integrated policy and strategy development
- creation of a Marine Spatial Planning framework
- delivery of the first ‘State of the Marine and Coastal Environment’ report
- stronger regional and strategic partnerships
- implementing more comprehensive Environmental Management Plans (including for Port Phillip Bay)
- improved local planning and management
- better coastal erosion management.