The separation of responsibilities of the coastal zone between
three levels of government and into separate compartments (eg. lands, forests
and fisheries) results in decisions being made in one sector without consideration
of the impact of the decision on other sectors. This is because:
Some Problems with the
Present Management of the Coast
- Responsibilities for and jurisdiction over sections
of the coast are frequently overlapping and contentious.
- Over 1500 bodies from the three levels of government
and over 900 regulatory systems are involved in some way with
the regulation of land and building in the coastal zone.
- Approval procedures are often complex and inefficient,
and integration and co-ordination between governmental bodies and agencies
is frequently poor.
- Lack of 'strategic thinking' at all levels of government
has lead to an accumulation of small decisions which, taken in isolation,
are unobjectionable but, cumulatively, result in environmental and social
- Lack of long-term planning and fragmentation of planning
responsibilities means that large scale and long-term environmental
problems are not addressed.
- The division of planning responsibilities along Local,
State or Territory boundaries, rather than according to ecological or
natural biophysical systems, hinders efforts to create effective conservation
or buffer zones for marine organisms. Many marine organisms travel great
distances during their juvenile (larval) stages, and others migrate
- Many local authorities have limited access to expertise
over the broad range of areas needed to effectively manage the coastal
zone, including engineering, planning, environmental, health sciences
and financial expertise.
- Existing systems for approving developments focus on
the particular development proposed, in isolation from broader ecological,
social, cultural and economic considerations.
- Many people feel that government authorities do not
give sufficient weight to the principle of public participation.