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.