Module 7


Who Cares for our Coast? Understanding how our Coastal Zone is managed





Resource 1

Types of Coastal Developments and Activities

Resource 2

Planning Terms and Definitions

Resource 3 A Skin Cancer Policy: An example of how planning terms are used
Resource 4

The Sustainability of Coastal Developments and Activities

Resource 5

The Commonwealth Government Role in Coastal Planning and Management

Resource 6 The State/Territory Role in Coastal Planning and Management
Resource 7 Local Government Role in Coastal Planning and Management Resource 8 Northern Territory - Government Agencies Resource 9 New South Wales - Government Agencies
Resource 10 Victoria - Government Agencies Resource 11 Western Australia - Government Agencies Resource 12 South Australia - Government Agencies
Resource 13 ACT - Government Agencies Resource 14 Tasmania - Government Agencies Resource 15 Queensland - Government Agencies
Resource 16 Four Hypothetical Coastal Developments/Activities Resource 17 Generalised Environmental Impact Assessment Process for Major Developments Resource 18 Methods that can be used by the public to contribute to the process of Coastal Planning




Resource 1

Types of Coastal Developments and Activities

(In alphabetical order by category)

Extractive Industries
  • Mining
  • Dredging


  • Agricultural crops
  • Grazing
  • Intensive animal production


  • Commercial Fishing
  • Recreational Fishing
  • Bait Collecting
  • Aquaculture


  • Wood for Building Industries
  • Wood Products


  • Industrial Goods
  • Goods for domestic consumption or export
  • Export products
  • Chemicals, including medical drugs, paints, plastics, etc.

Oil, Gas and Offshore Engineering

  • Oil Production for Domestic and Industrial Uses
  • Petroleum for Domestic and Industrial Uses
  • Swimming
  • Boating (sail boats, power boats, jet skis, paddle boats)
  • Surfing
  • Snorkelling and SCUBA Diving
  • Picnicking
  • Bush Walking
  • Camping
  • Bird Watching
  • Golfing
  • Parasailing


  • Production of Electricity, Gas and Water
  • Processing and Disposing of Wastes (liquid and solid)
  • Social Services (Education, Health)


  • Resort Development
  • Domestic or Overseas Tourism

Transport and Its Related Infrastructure

  • Roads
  • Railways
  • Shipping
  • Ports

Urban Developments

  • Housing
  • Strip developments
  • Commercial developments

Resource 2

Planning Terms and Definitions











Management Plans

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)


Consent Authority

Things we've decided or agreed we would like. A goal is usually considered the endpoint of some endeavour.

A list of things we would like to happen, or that need to happen to achieve a goal.

A list of things to do to achieve the goal(s). A plan sets out intended activities over a specific period of time.

A set of guidelines or principles for decisions and actions that allow, encourage or cause the goal to be achieved.

Specific steps or actions to achieve the goal, or create conditions so that the goal can be achieved.

Monitoring the specific steps and actions to make sure the goal can be achieved and maintained.

A rather broadly used term in planning that means the execution of all the steps involved in coastal planning. Managing a coastal habitat or region involves all the steps defined above, but also specifically refers to the day-to-day implementation and enforcement of policies.

These are usually projects or a related group of activities such as research, monitoring, surveying, etc. that are targeted to one particular issue. In planning language, programmes and strategies may be interchangeable terms. A specific, targeted Commonwealth Programme is the Marine Protected Areas Programme, one part of the Marine Programme (formerly known as Ocean Rescue 2000), which is overseen by the Marine Portfolio Group of Environment Australia. This programme aims to establish a system of marine protected areas that are representative of all marine habitats Australia-wide.

These are usually sets of principles and programmes that steer the development of specific policies, and can be specific or broad in scope. An example of a broad strategy is the Commonwealth Coastal Action Programme which aims to improve the planning and management of Australia's coastal habitats through a number of measures, including better communication amongst government authorities and the improvement of professional education and training for those involved in coastal management. An example of a more specific strategy is the National Strategy on Aquaculture which aims to provide a framework for orderly development of the aquaculture industry to maximise efficiencies and competitive advantages.

The act of making laws on statutes; a document describing a law or statute. For example, all fisheries management plans, rules and regulations under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Government are legalised under the Fisheries Management Act 1991. Each State also has legislation that formalises the management of fisheries under their jurisdiction (eg. the NSW Fisheries Management Act (1994).

Some State governments give the responsibility for everyday management of the coast to local councils. In NSW, the Local Government Act (1993) gives councils the power to set and enforce zoning regulations which constrain the types of development and activities that are allowed in council areas. Land Use Zoning, the regulations that set out the details of allowed developments, is a commonly used example of a planning tool or instrument.

These are documents that describe how the agreed goals will be achieved and set out a time table for their completion. They may be broad in scope, such as in a Strategic Plan, or a more specific management plan that applies to one habitat, such as an Estuary Management Plan.

The term for the process that evaluates the potential effects of a proposed development or activity on the environment. States are responsible for providing the structures, support and processes involved in EIA although Commonwealth activities are regulated by the Environment Protection Impact Proposals Act 1974. Ideally, an EIA process should examine the economic, social, cultural and environmental effects of a proposal within the framework of the principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development. The process should involve managers, planners, policy makers, scientists, engineers and the public.

A sub-set of the EIA process - a report that summarises and evaluates the potential effects of a specific development on the environment. Not all developments must have an EIS prepared, but large projects usually require one. Each state determines which proposals require an EIS to be prepared. In all States and Territories, the public is given an opportunity to comment on the EIS in writing. EISs are paid for by the proponent of the development and usually involve a variety of specialists such as water quality experts, hydrologists, pollution specialists, planners, ecologists and engineers.

The 'body' that puts forward a proposal for a development or an activity. Proponents can be individuals, companies, groups of people or authorities from any of the three levels of government.

This refers to the authority or agency that has the power to decide on the fate of development proposals. For proposals that are assessed to be minor or limited in scope, a local council is usually the consent authority. In such cases the proposed project is planned to be built or carried out on land zoned under a Local Environment Plan (LEP) For larger, more significant proposals that potentially have a great impact, the State/Territory planning authority (usually the Minister for Planning or similar title) appoints the consent authority, based on the nature and scope of the proposal. For example, the consent authority for a major proposal for mining in the coastal zone would be the authority that regulates extractive industries in that state. In some cases the proponent and the consent authority could be the same body.

Resource 3

A Skin Cancer Policy: An example of how planning terms are used

Goal: We would all agree that avoiding skin cancer is a good idea. We agree that avoiding skin cancer would benefit both individuals, who would be spared suffering and shortened lives, and our society as a whole by avoiding unnecessary medical expenses and social disruption caused by premature deaths.

Medical research indicates clearly that prolonged exposure to the sun which results in sunburn early in life greatly increases the chances of developing skin cancer later in life, so...

Objective: To have participants understand the seriousness of skin cancer and how to prevent it.

Plan: Young children and students should avoid exposure to the sun.

Policy: Students should wear hats and sunscreen when outdoors.


Step 1: Participants will be taught about the dangers of exposure to the sun and how to prevent skin cancer

Step 2: Participants will wear hats and sunscreen to school

Step 3: Free hats and sunscreen will be provide if participants cannot afford to buy them.

Note here that the method of implementation largely depends on the jurisdiction of the implementing agency. A school can only implement this plan when participants are at school: they have no means to implement or enforce this plan when participants are not at school.


Level 1: Participants without hats on will be asked to put one on when outside.

Level 2: Participants outside without hats must go inside.

Level 3: Participants found outside without hats will have privileges withdrawn.

Level 4: Participants found outside without hats will be punished with some form of detention.

At this point, a healthy discussion may follow about the level to which enforcement of a policy, in pursuit of a goal, should or can be taken in a democratic society. In such a discussion participants will be required to consider different viewpoints and develop rational arguments.

Resource 4

The Sustainability of Coastal Developments and Activities

Coastal Habitat _________________________________
Sustainable Development or Activity Unsustainable Development or Activity Major Reason for Lack of Sustainability Could be Sustainable if Altered (yes/no) Alterations to Developments and Activities Possible Now Alterations to Developments and Activities Possible Later