A Special General Meeting of members of the National Sea Change Taskforce is to be called to consider changes to the organization including repositioning the group as the Australian Coastal Councils Association.

The Taskforce Committee of Management voted unanimously at its most recent meeting to have the changes considered by member councils at a Special General Meeting to be held during the Australian Coastal Councils Conference at Cape Schanck, on the Mornington Peninsula, next March.

The Chair of the Taskforce, Barry Sammels, said the ‘sea change’ positioning of the Taskforce had served its purpose over the past decade, but the organisation was now addressing a wider range of issues which are common to all coastal councils.

“We have achieved much as the National Sea Change Taskforce,” he said. “But the current name of the organisation is not representative of the interests of all coastal councils and means different things to different people.

“Repositioning the organisation as the Australian Coastal Councils Association will help to more clearly define the role of the association and its broad range of advocacy and research activities.”

Barry Sammels said when the Taskforce was first established it was focused on the impact of population growth and tourism in coastal areas, but the range of issues now addressed by the organization extended well beyond that initial brief.

Current issues include developing strategies to address legal risks related to coastal planning, addressing inadequacies in the management and funding of natural disasters, and developing strategies to retain the values and character of coastal communities.

“The Committee members felt the proposed new name would be supported by current member councils and could help attract new members.”

Barry Sammels said the organisation is the only body that represents the interests of Australian’s coastal councils at a national level and enables member councils to advocate in support of coastal issues with the Federal Government.

“The organisation also plays a significant role in providing an effective forum for exchanging information between members on issues of common interest to Australia’s coastal communities,” he said.

Barry Sammels said notice of the Special General Meeting will be distributed to members before the end of the year and he encouraged members either to attend the meeting or to fill in a proxy form in order to exercise their vote on the issue.