It may be a relatively small state, yet Victoria has a substantial coastline of 2,512km and a population of 5.8 million people- almost 25% of the national population. It hosts a variety of environs including the open coast, extensive embayments and islands, and experiences striking seasonality.
Like other states, Victoria has a complex array of legislation, managers and stakeholders which affect the coast.
Since 1995 the Victorian Coastal Strategy, [VCS] has been the State Government’s policy commitment for coastal, estuarine and marine environments. The VCS 2014 -2019 has provided a long term vision for the planning, management and sustainable use of the coast. Established under the Coastal Management Act 1995 it provides the policies and actions Victorians needed to implement and achieve that vision. The Victorian Coastal Council [VCC] is appointed under this Act as the peak body for strategic planning and management of Victoria’s coast and to provide advice to the Minister. See www.vcc.vic.gov.au
Following a review of the Coastal Management Act 1995 in 2016, the Government has committed to a new Marine and Coastal Act. It proposes a number of significant changes in order to strengthen our coastal management system and include a stronger focus on marine planning. It seeks to meet long term challenges such as impacts from climate change and population growth and improved protection and enhancement of marine and coastal environmental values. The final plan and enabling legislation is expected to come into effect in late 2017. See www.coastsandmarine.vic.gov.au/marine-and-coastal-act
About ACS Victoria
We are a state branch working with our members to share information, provide professional networks and advocate for best practice. Our Committee includes:
The Australian Coastal Society is a key player in the national Coastal Advocacy Alliance, thus enabling a stronger partnerships and voice on coastal issues. Via State Chapters, ACS members are able to become actively involved in significant local and regional issues, in addition to helping ACS make representation to governments nationally on coastal policies.
A key part of our work in the past year has involved providing feedback on significant plans, proposals and changes to the management of the Victorian Coast on your behalf. We attend meetings and events as part of stakeholder reference or working group; write to decision makers and provide submissions to present our views.
Our submissions in the last year include:
Our Priorities for 2017-18
Victoria’s new Marine and Coastal Act
New planning arrangements and a state-wide advisory council are to replace the existing Victorian Coastal Council and Regional Coastal Boards. Regional Partnership groups will also be formed.
Moolap Coastal Strategic Framework Plan
Our first submission to DELWP supported the “Conserve Moolap “option and supported the critical need for retention, protection and management of the Ridley saltworks site for migratory birds. We also supported recognition of its heritage values. Our recent submission focussed more broadly and commented on predicted sea level rise and issues with planned population increase and tourism access. We await the final recommendations and plan. For more information on the Plan visit; www.coastsandmarine.vic.gov.au/coastalprograms/moolap
A proposed Victorian Coastal Conference
The Central Coastal Board is convening an inaugural State coastal conference in late 2017. We are excited to be supporting them via membership on their steering committee which will provide recommendations to the Board. We will be providing regular updates via this ACS website and email to members shortly. Visit www.ccb.vic.gov.au
Providing Value to Our Members
We continue to identify ways that we can add value as an organisation. Over the last year we have provided regular updates covering research outcomes, on ground events, including Clean up Australia ;the ABC’s “War on Waste” series specifically focussed on the marine environment, activities; the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility [NCCARF},Coast adapt tools, training programs and webinars. Last year we assisted with organising the National Coast to Coast Conference in Melbourne, with papers from that and previous Coast to Coast events [national and State] being collated to place on the ACS website under “events”.
We are always keen to hear from those wishing to be involved. If you would like to participate or bring other issues to our attention please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sue Mudford [on behalf of your Committee]
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