Regional collaboration for coastal managers undertaking coastal monitoring and involving communities in coastal adaptation planning and decision making in Peron Naturaliste region of Western Australia

Miss Joanne Ludbrook, Mr Craig  Perry

1Peron Naturaliste Partnership, Falcon, Australia


The Peron Naturaliste Partnership is collaboration of nine local governments working together in a regional approach to coastal climate change adaptation from Cape Peron to Cape Naturaliste in southwest Western Australia.

This presentation will focus on two of the Partnership’s major coastal adaptation projects (1) Regional Coastal Monitoring Program 2015-2019 and (2) Involving Communities in Developing Coastal Risk Management Frameworks in Western Australia 2017-2018.

The first, a regional Coastal Monitoring Program. This was developed by Damara WA in 2015-2016 and implemented with support by University of Western Australia in 2017-2018. The Coastal Monitoring Program covers over 210kms our coast and estuarine areas and was funded through Department of Transport Coastal Adaptation and Protection Grants. This project is assisting the Partnership and state and local Governments to better understand the coastal dynamics and processes in the region and improve response to erosion and inundation hazards.

Our second major project is a community focused coastal climate change study; Involving Communities in Developing Coastal Risk Management Frameworks in Western Australia 2017-2018, being delivered by the Peron Naturaliste Partnership, Production Function and Curtin University Master Student.

The study focuses on three key coastal sites in the southwest settlements of Rockingham, Bunbury and Busselton. The aim is to gain a better understanding of community values the coast and then identify how these values may be impacted as a result of climate change and to inform the development of a coastal hazard risk management and adaptation planning frameworks. This project was funded through the Coastal Coastal Management Plan Assistance Program. The study has also had expert support from Coast Adapt and Dr. Garry Middle.


Joanne has worked for the Peron Naturaliste Partnership for 6 years. The majority of this work relates to coastal climate change adaptation, to build capacity and support local government in supporting resilient coastal communities in the south west of Western Australia. Joanne is also the Western Australian branch – Volunteer Coordinator of the Australian Coastal Society and a committee member of the Western Australian Landcare Network.

Politics and the coast: Some reflections

Professor Bruce Thom


There are many components to coastal management, but the one that I find most intriguing is the intervention (or non-intervention) of politics. At national, state and local levels of government, political dynamics create situations that can change the course of policy implementation. The result can divert attention from a planned and agreed course of action to something else for better or worse.

Since 1975 I have experienced actions by politicians that have led to significant changes in the way the Australian coast is managed. Participation in federal inquires has highlighted the need for coastal scientists to be involved in the inquiry process. However, it soon became apparent that the outcomes of these inquiries could be problematic when political factors were taken into account. The Fraser Island Inquiry took us into the strange world of political agreement at the federal level but not with Queensland. Subsequent parliamentary and Resource Assessment (RAC) inquiries have had lesser impacts. Individual federal ministers have made varying contributions from the extreme of being a coastal “champion” to showing little or no interest. The result has been a switching on and off of coastal NRM by the Australian Government.

At state and local levels a similar pattern can be observed. Each state has a defined statutory responsibility for coastal planning and management. Over the last three decades I have observed varying degrees of interest and commitment. Debates over the potential impact of climate change have had the effect of changing policies and administrative structures often at short notice. Changes can take place both at election time and within a period of government with change in ministers. Often good policies can be thwarted by local councils where the political perspective differs from the intent of the policy.

This paper will offer examples of how politics has influenced coastal management in Australia. My experience highlights the importance of being in a position to engage with the politics but not to get frustrated by its inconsistencies, vicissitudes and personalities.

Member, Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists

“If it wasn’t for the politics we’d be fine” Why is ICZM so difficult?

Ms Maree Fudge1

1University Of Tasmania, West Hobart, Australia


Citizen involvement and participation has become a central tenet of integrated marine and coastal zone management and is increasingly demanded by community members with high stakes in the coast and shared marine environments.  Participation is commonly held to be a solution to the complexity of integrated management. Implementation and progress in integrated management remains slow and uneven in both Canada and Australia, regarded as leaders in their commitments to integrated governance of the marine estate.  Conflict between marine users is still common, and levels of ‘community’ trust in governments, regulation and policy remains low. In the coastal zone and integrated marine governance literature, researchers and practitioners come up again the problem of ‘politics’ and the institutional constraints to integrated management approaches. In this session I will present my examination of the influence of the participation norm on integrated coastal zone and marine management and discuss how this norm may be constraining the capacity of researchers and policy makers to effectively involve citizens and stakeholders in integrated decision-making and management of shared coastal zones and marine environments.


Maree is a social researcher and evaluation consultant (see &

Maree is just over halfway through her PhD Candidature through the Centre for Marine Socioecology, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania (

Maree’s PhD project is a critique of participatory governance for integrated coastal zone management (ICZM).  Her research is an examination of the limits and constraints of citizen participation as a political process. She is comparing the experiences of attempts at participation in ICZM in South East Tasmania and Southwest New Brunswick, Canada (the Bay of Fundy).

Strategic vision for coastal management in SA: missing in action?

Dr Beverley Clarke1, Ms Patricia von Baumgarten2

1Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia, 2SA Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources , Adelaide , Australia


South Australia’s 2004 Living Coast Strategy has well passed its five year assignment. It set out the State Government’s environmental policy directions for ecologically sustainable management of South Australia’s coastal, estuarine and marine environments. The Living Coast Strategy promised and delivered some good initiatives.  However, it also promised new coastal legislation, a marine planning framework, and an estuary policy that never eventuated. No new state-wide coastal strategy has been developed to replace it. For eight years South Australia has been functioning without strategic direction for its coastal, marine and esturaine environments. The SA Branch of the Australian Coastal Society (ACS) triggered a conversation about this situation during the SA state coastal conference in November 2017. Attendees at the conference helped to design forward looking strategic direction for coastal management in South Australia. The ACS SA branch has worked through these ideas and prepared a “SA Coastal Management Agenda” or manifesto, documenting key recommendations for a way forward. This presentation will elaborate on the process and the outcomes of this activity.


Beverley Clarke is a social scientist particularly interested in how people influence environmental management. She has been investigating how both formal (governance) and informal (cultural and social) processes affect decision making processes and outcomes for the environment. Dr Clarke has been conducting research in the area of environmental planning and management, specialising in coasts, over the last 15 years researching topics such as community participation, capacity building, the policy implications of sea level rise, and the social dimensions of natural resource management.

Twenty years later: lessons for governance from Australia’s Oceans Policy process

Dr Joanna Vince1

1University Of Tasmania, LAUNCESTON, Australia, 2Centre for Marine Socio-ecology, Hobart, Australia


In 1998 the Australian Commonwealth government released Australia’s Oceans Policy. At first, the government’s aim was to develop a policy that would achieve ‘full’ integration across sectors dealing with oceans issues; vertical jurisdictional integration between state, territory and Commonwealth governments; and horizontal, ‘whole of government’ processes across Commonwealth departments. The oceans policy was a policy experiment that attempted new and untried methods of policy implementation through ecosystem based management approaches. Since Australia was one of the first countries to attempt this, the policy was initially highly regarded by the international community and it became a focus for policy transfer and learning. However, the goal to achieve full integration was never achieved. This paper examines the lessons learned from this complex and historically significant policy process that spanned over a decade. It reveals that despite the attempt at a holistic policy approach, the challenges to reconcile the jurisdictional issues that are entrenched in Australian oceans governance contributed to the policy’s demise. These issues continue to shape ocean and marine resources management in Australia and given the timely event of the twenty year anniversary of the launch of the policy the question is asked – what is the way for forward for Australian oceans governance?


Dr Joanna Vince is a Senior Lecturer in the Politics and International Relations Program, School of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania. Her research interests include governance and public policy; international and domestic ocean governance with a focus on Australian ocean and marine resource management, marine debris (local and global), comparative oceans governance, and third party certification. Dr Vince is co-author of the book Oceans Governance in the Twenty-First Century: Managing the Blue Planet (Edward Elgar Publishers, 2008) and co-editor of Marine Resources Management (Lexis/Nexis Butterworths, 2011). She has published in top international journals such as Marine Policy, Environmental Science & Policy, Ocean and Coastal Management, Policy Sciences, Journal of Environmental Management and Coastal Management; and other key marine based journals such as Ocean Yearbook and the Australian Journal of Maritime and Ocean Affairs. She is also an Editorial Board member of the Australian Journal of Maritime and Ocean Affairs and a Scientific Board member of the journal Policy Design and Practice.

Co-investment – Principles and Practice

Ms Virginia Brook1, Ms Laurinda di Pietro

1DELWP, East Melbourne , Australia


“Coastal co-investment – principles and practice”

Author: Laurinda di Pietro, Virginia Brook

This project looks at options for co-investment for the future management and maintenance of Victoria’s coastal protection and other assets.  The project examines coastal co-investment in the context of Victoria’s policy and planning framework; case studies of current arrangements; and co-investment options for the future which reflect the public benefits enjoyed by all users of the coast.

As with other coastal jurisdictions in Australia, Victoria’s coastal zone is highly valued for its cultural, social and recreational attributes. Also recognised are the benefits to the whole community from the ecosystem services, and flow-on economic gains, that a healthy coast provides.

Resourcing arrangements for coastal and marine environments need to be improved to address current and future challenges posed by an ageing asset base; increasing and changing demands resulting from population growth; and the prospective impacts of climate change.

Cost-sharing arrangements for the maintenance, repair, renewal and construction of new and existing infrastructure on the coast need to be better defined and agreement reached on a clear position of who should bear the costs of such works.

Sustainable funding is critical to retain and maintain infrastructure, improve existing recreation and visitation opportunities, and protect and rehabilitate important ecosystems along the coast.

The management of marine and coastal environments increasingly requires the participation of all levels of government, industry and the community. Agreement on co-investment arrangements will be critical to ensure the ongoing management, maintenance and auditing of Victoria’s coastal and marine assets.


Prior to joining the Land Management and Policy branch of the Victorian Government’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Virginia’s experience included strategic coastal planning for local government and environmental planning for the State government. In addition, Virginia holds qualifications in Landscape Architecture and community development which provide a strong grounding for her project work.

The status of coastal planning in WA

Dr Garry Middle1

1Western Australian Planning Commission , Perth, Australia


In 2005, the responsibility for coastal policy and planning in WA has given to the peak planning agency, the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC), with the support of the now Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH). The key coastal planning policy is State Planning Policy (SPP) 2.6, which received a significant upgrade to address climate change in 2013. SPP 2.6 requires local governments to carry out coastal hazard risk management and adaptation planning – or CHRMAP – and funds are provided by both the WAPC, through DPLH , and the Department of Transport to fund CHRMAP work and implementation of approved management measures. A significant number of coastal local government are now in the process of doing CHRMAPs, and some important issues are beginning to emerge as a result of this work. This presentation will provide an update of WA coastal policy and planning, and a discussion of the implementation issues that are emerging and options being explored to address these issues.


Dr Garry Middle is an adjunct senior research fellow at Curtin University, and an independent member of the board of the Western Australian Planning Commission as an expert in coastal and environmental planning.

From Marine Policy to Law: A case for coastal zone decision-making with community participation by right

Mrs Lisa Uffman-Kirsch1

1University Of Tasmania-Faculty of Law and Centre For Marine Socioecology, North Royalton, United States


The marine environment is a public resource with shared, common-pool ‘ownership’.  It offers no legal grant of private property ownership rights, and various governing bodies within diverse legal regimes control property use rights on behalf of the public.  Activities affecting the marine environment can spark controversies because of conflicting priorities and perceived threats to important public values. Conflicts often arise between private stakeholders with pecuniary interests in the marine environment or its resources and public stakeholders with conservation, cultural or non-commercial recreational-based interests.

For effective decision-making and governance in this highly-valued environment, especially when faced with competing interests, legislators and administrators could benefit from mechanisms to help them uncover, understand and proactively engage with the public values at play in any given controversy.

Offered is an overview of legal provisions in various jurisdictions that arguably provide basis for a government obligation of meaningful project-affected community participation in licensing consideration for proposed coastal zone activities. The Free, Prior and Informed Consent concept is given consideration as a stakeholder participation framework worthy of marine policy and legislative advancement. It receives focus as a component of best-practice licensing procedures that support creation of value-influenced relationships, like social license. Interactive discussion is included on elements to consider when defining the scope of project-affected communities.


Lisa is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Tasmania’s Faculty of Law and holds affiliation with the Centre for Marine Socioecology. Her research focuses on inter-disciplinary consideration of community participation in marine activity approval processes and the relationship to social license. Lisa is an attorney in the United States, and a member of the District of Columbia bar. She earned her juris doctor from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law (USA), and her master of laws in public international law from Utrecht Universiteit (Netherlands). Her prior work has included roles in multi-district litigation discovery, private sector public and investor relations, international boundary water projects through the U.S. Department of State, entrepreneurial experience in human resource assessment and development, community service and citizen organizing in municipal land-use and master planning, and government service as an elected local legislator.

Twenty-five years on: Where to with Australian Coastal Policy?

Prof. Marcus Haward1

1IMAS, University Of Tasmania, Sandy Bay, Australia


In 1994, following completion of a number of inquiries and initiatives I argued that Australian coastal policy was a ‘clear picture with a cluttered foreground. Almost twenty-five years on, how has the picture evolved?  We have greater understanding of vulnerabilities and threats, have experienced a number of attempts at national policy frameworks but with little current coordination or integration; key aspirations from the early 1990s from international (e.g. the 1993 Nordwijk Guidelines), and from domestic (e.g. the 1996 Coastal Action Program) initiatives. If anything, the picture is losing focus and the foreground (local and community action) has assumed greater significance. This paper explores current issues and challenges for Australian coastal policy.


Marcus Haward is a Professor, Oceans and Antarctic Governance, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) at the University of Tasmania. Marcus has an extensive record of research and publication on marine resource management, oceans policy and  coastal zone governance.

Looking to the Future: A new Marine and Coastal Management Actfor Victoria

Ms Rebecca Price1, Ms Nicola Waldron1, Mr Jeremy Reiger1, Mr Ryan  Bath1

1Vic Dept Environment, Land, Water & Planning , East Melbourne, Australia


In 2015 the Victorian Government committed to strengthening the marine and coastal system by developing a new Marine and Coast Act.

This is the most significant reforms since the original Victorian Coastal Management Act in 1995. With future challenges like aging infrastructure, increased population growth and the impacts from climate change, it is imperative that the system is designed to meet these challenges.

The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) with guidance from an expert panel has lead these reforms. An important part of the process was a Consultation Paper released at the previous Coast to Coast in August 2016. This provided an opportunity for the community and coastal practitioners to discuss issues and possible solutions.

Following this work has been done on drafting the new Act which is expected to be introduced into Parliament in late 2017. DEWLP is also developing a Transition Plan that will guide the process of change from the ‘current’ to the ‘new system’. The Transition Plan is expected to be released with the new legislation.

The new system is based around the core functions of:

  • A clear vision, guiding principles
  • knowledge of the condition of the marine and coastal environment
  • statewide policy, strategic advice
  • regional and issue based planning
  • planning controls for use and development
  • well-resourced and efficient management arrangements
  • informed and engaged community groups.

This paper will provide details on Victoria’s new system, and the high and lows on the process of developing new legislation.


Jeremy Reiger is the Manager of Policy and Strategy in the Land Management Policy Division of the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. With a background in botany and environmental policy, Jeremy has over 10 years experience tackling contemporary environmental policy challenges in Victoria. This includes leading the team who has developed the Marine and Coastal Act and associated reforms since 2015 in addition to providing policy direction for the management of Victoria’s vast public land estate.


About the Association

The Australian Coastal Society (ACS) was initiated at the Coast to Coast Conference in Tasmania in 2004. The idea was floated as a means for those interested in coastal matters to communicate between conferences and where possible take resolutions of the conference to appropriate levels of government.

The idea was discussed further at the Coast to Coast Conference in Melbourne in 2006 and it was agreed that Bruce Thom develop a constitution of a company limited by guarantee that would operate on a national basis.

This plan was accomplished and in 2008 at the Coast to Coast Conference in Darwin the constitution was ratified and an Executive appointed. The company received charitable status in 2011.

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