The sustainability of coastal planning: an Australian example
Shaw, JR, The sustainability of coastal planning: an Australian example, The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, 6, (2) pp. 45-54. ISSN 1832-2077 (2010) [Refereed Article]
The sustainability of coastal planning is an important future issue as the pressures on the coast increase with population rises above other areas. Future sustainable coastal planning will need to consider the additional issues of climate change as well as water and energy production. This paper investigates the sustainability of coastal planning. Integrated Coastal Management (ICZM) is a popular worldwide model and has been used in Australia since 2001. Analysis of integrated coastal management on Australia's South-Eastern coastline indicates ICZM has achieved limited success. Intensification of building in key activity node townships has driven strategic planning that is stated to consider ICZM. This planning has time horizons of 15 to 25 years and will have impact for a considerable future period. Environmental threats and issues are biodiversity, retention of vegetation quality, encroachment on wetlands, visitor pressure, impacts on Ramsar listed wetland sites, changes to coastal processes, water quantity in streams and estuaries, climate change and water quality. Some environmental concerns and threats are addressed under previous planning with strict targets linked to beneficial uses like the State Environment Protection Policy (Waters of Victoria) which sets out water quality targets. This paper looks at the above environmental threats to assess if they have been addressed in sustainable planning for Victoria's south eastern coastline. It makes recommendations on strengthening sustainability and environmental considerations in coastal planning. Key to these recommendations is the explicit consideration of environmental threats in planning, trade-offs between use and environmental components, use of available assessment information and explicit nested policy.