Lisa Neville MP, Victoria’s Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, told delegates at the 2015 Australian Coastal Councils Conference that the Andrews Government is committed to improving the state’s coastal management.
“Firstly, we are looking at how we best manage our coastal assets,” she said. “96 per cent of Victoria’s coast is in public hands, so managing our coastal areas isn’t new, but we understand we need to do a better job.
“By establishing a Marine and Coastal Act, we will bring together both the management and protection of these areas under the one act.
“This new legislation, for the first time, will look at the many acts and policies that oversee the management of marine, coastal and bay areas, acknowledging that each environment is interlinked.”
Minister Neville said Victoria has a proud history of being a leader in coastal management and planning.
“The Victorian Coastal Strategy, now in its fourth iteration, has provided a stable, overarching policy framework for the management and planning of our coast,” she said.
“The strategy has also been a vital tool for ensuring all coastal policy and planning considers impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels. The strategy includes a clear benchmark which requires that we plan for sea level rise of no less than 0.8m by 2100.”
She said climate change is not an ‘if’ but a ‘when’. “It is already happening, and it is threatening to irreversibly impact our communities and the environment we live in – and as coastal communities know, it will hit us hardest.
“In the absence of national leadership on this critical issue, we understand as a State Government we must take the lead on Climate Change and are committed to reinvigorating climate action within our state, and restoring Victoria’s status as a leader in Australia and internationally.”
The full transcript of Minister Neville’s speech is available here.
Minister Lisa Neville’s speech at Australian Coastal Councils Conference