This module presents a sequence of activities to increase the understanding
of the goals, policies and opportunities for participation in the coastal
planning process. It seeks to provide answers to the following questions:
- What are the goals that we, as a society, have agreed to about the
use of coastal and marine environments?
- What special understandings do we need to interpret these goals?
- What structures, laws, processes and practices are currently in place
to ensure the implementation of these goals?
- How can we have our say in the processes of deciding goals, in general,
and in making specific decisions on developments that affect coastal
and marine environments?
The objectives of this workshop are:
- to explain the objectives of Ecologically Sustainable Development
- to illustrate how ESD principles can be incorporated into coastal
- to provide an overview of the structure of environmental planning
processes, including an awareness of the agencies involved in decisions
about the use of the coastal zone; and
- to identify opportunities for citizens to participate in the processes
of coastal planning and approval of coastal development.
There are six activities in this workshop:
The introduction provides a rationale for the need to understand how
coastal policy is made, and the structures and processes in place to
implement agreed goals for the future of the coastal zone.
- What are the Goals of ESD?
This section presents the terminology and concepts outlined in the Commonwealth
Coastal Policy. The activity encourages the participants to become familiar
with terms and concepts and, in particular, focuses on an understanding
of 'sustainability' in the context of activities and developments within
- Getting Past the Language
This activity explores the meanings of common words that have particular
definitions in the language of policy and planning. In particular, emotive
connotations of some words are examined with the goal of promoting understanding
of the processes of coastal planning.
- How does Coastal Planning Work?
This section examines the overall structure of planning processes and
responsibilities, beginning at the Commonwealth level, focusing on the
central role of State/Territory governments, and the implementation
role of local government. The activity casts participants in the roles
of the three levels of government and asks them to identify their involvement
in evaluating the suitability of four hypothetical coastal developments.
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process is discussed and the
key tool of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is explored.
- How Can the Public Be Involved?
This section focuses on the role of the public in the coastal planning
process. The activity is an extension of the previous activity, and
asks participants to identify the points where public input is possible
in the evaluation of four hypothetical development proposals. The various
methods of public participation and their effectiveness are evaluated.
This section provides a synthesis of the ideas in this workshop and
an overview of the challenges in teaching the material.
||Overview and Objectives of the Workshop
||ESD - Goal, Objectives and Guiding Principles
||Problems with the Present Management of the Coastal
||Approaches to Environmental Planning
||What is Environmental Impact Assessment?
||Some Problems with the Environmental Planning Process
||Some Achievements of the Environmental Impact
||Types of Coastal Developments and Activities
||Planning Terms and Definitions
||A Skin Cancer Policy: An Example of How Planning Terms
||The Sustainability of Coastal Developments and Activities
||The Commonwealth Government Role in Coastal Planning
||The State/Territory Role in Coastal Planning and Management
||The Local Government Role in Coastal Planning and Management
||Northern Territory - Government Agencies
||NSW - Government Agencies
||Victoria - Government Agencies
||Western Australia - Government Agencies
||South Australia - Government Agencies
||ACT - Government Agencies
||Tasmania - Government Agencies
||Queensland - Government Agencies
||Four Hypothetical Coastal Developments
||Generalised EIA Process for Major Developments
||Methods for Public Participation in Coastal Planning
||Why do We Need to Know about Coastal Planning?
||Terms and Definitions: A List for Facilitators
||How Does Coastal Planning Work?
||The Environmental Impact Assessment Process
B. To be obtained
- An atlas topographic map with details of coastal habitats in the chosen
- Butcher paper and light-weight cardboard, blu-tac or similar to mount
- Information on specific planning goals/policies of relevant local
- Examples of how a planning process operates using local examples.
- A copy of an EIS for a local development.
- An envelope for each group of 3-4 participants containing slips of
paper cut up from copies of Resource 3.
Brown, A.L. and McDonald, G.T. (1995) From Environmental Impact Assessment
to Environmental Design and Planning, Australian Journal of Environmental
Management 2 (2).
Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories (1995) Living
on the Coast: The Commonwealth Coastal Policy, Canberra.
Manuel, M., McElroy, B. and Smith, R. (1995) Coastal Conflicts,
Cambridge University Press, Melbourne.
Resource Assessment Commission: Coastal Zone Inquiry, Final Report
of the Resource Assessment Commission, November 1993, Resource
Assessment Commission, Canberra.
Underwood, A.J. and Chapman, M.G. (eds) (1995) Coastal Marine Ecology
of Temperate Australia, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney.
Note: For details of the Commonwealth Government's procedures
for Environmental Impact Assessment consult the ERIN Homepage at