The Victorian Coastal Strategy (VCS) is the State Government’s policy commitment for coastal, estuarine and marine environments in Victoria. The VCS is given effect in Planning Schemes through clause 15.08 ‘Coastal Areas’ of the State Planning Policy Framework.
The Victorian Coastal Council (VCC) develops the VCS every five years. The last strategy was completed in 2008. Considerable stakeholder and community consultation was conducted to develop and finalise the 2008 strategy, including a draft strategy stage.
The Victorian Coastal Strategy 2008 builds on the principles and actions of the previous strategies and identifies and responds to three significant issues currently affecting Victoria’s coast:
The VCS provides a framework for action and ensures that decision makers will be better informed on how to manage climate change risks and likely impacts on the coast.
The VCS addresses the issue of climate change by:
The VCS will help balance population growth with the needs of the environment. It does not suggest prohibiting development along the coast.
The Strategy addresses the issue of population and growth by:
There has been much progress in both scientific understanding and management approaches for Victoria’s marine environments. Climate change is likely to pose new threats to marine biodiversity, with possible effects including inundation and storm surges (in the nearshore zone), increases in seawater acidity, changes in catchment input patterns and changes in seawater temperature.
The policies and actions outlined in the VCS will address the issue of marine ecological integrity by:
The Department of Sustainability and Environment has established a co-ordinating committee to implement the VCS. The committee is comprised of members of the VCC and relevant government departments, agencies and peak bodies.
The Central Coastal Board is mindful that the challenges facing this region and the bays can differ from the outer coast, and will work closely with the VCC to support implementation of the VCS in this region.
For further information on the Victorian Coastal Strategy 2008 visit the VCC website.