Victoria’s first marine spatial planning framework

Nicola Waldron1

1Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Melbourne, Victoria


Victoria’s first marine spatial planning framework is a key component of the State government’s Marine and Coastal Policy 2020.

The framework, which is required under the Marine and Coastal 2018, provides guidance and a process for achieving integrated and coordinated planning and management of the marine environment.

It sets out Victoria’s approach for undertaking marine spatial planning. The framework details the essential elements and steps for how industry, government and the community can work together to better plan for current and future uses of the marine environment while also maintaining healthy marine ecosystems.

This presentation will outline the participatory, co-design approach used to develop the framework and provide some reflections on application of this approach to the development of government policy.

A brief overview of the framework’s key elements and pathway for implementation will also be provided.


Nicola Waldron is Co-Manager of the Policy and Strategy team in the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. The team develops and reviews policy for marine and coastal areas and provides strategic advice. Nicola has over 20 over years’ experience in the fields of marine and coastal science, policy, planning and management. She has led and provided advice on a wide range of policy, projects and reform initiatives that have furthered marine and coastal planning and management, including leading development of Victoria’s first marine spatial planning framework and aspects of the Marine and Coastal Act 2018. Nicola holds qualifications in coastal management, marine biology, and public sector management, and she is an avid diver and underwater photographer.