The Queensland State Coastal Management Plan

The Queensland Government gave this plan statutory effect under the Coastal Protection and Management Act 1995 in August 2001 (Qld EPA 2001); it is the state coastal policy. It follows a draft statement in October 2000, and an earlier document entitled Queensland s Coast: Managing its Future. A Position Paper on Coastal Management in Queensland, released for discussion in December 1999. The plan is also described as a policy response to the coastal issues described in the 1999 Queensland State of the Environment report.

The State Coastal Plan applies to the coastal zone as defined in s. 11 of the Coastal Protection and Management Act: 'coastal waters and all areas to the landward side of coastal waters in which there are physical features, ecological or natural processes that affect, or potentially affect, the coast or coastal resources'. The coastal zone includes catchment areas where activities have impacts on coastal resources, as well as all the coastal waters of the state. The coastal plan is seen as having greater application to 'undeveloped' rather than urban areas (Qld EPA 2001, p. 3).

The plan delivers a vision and direction for coastal management within the state. The plan is envisaged as setting out the overall policy for coastal management, as well as specific policies for certain types of areas, such as erosion-prone areas. It defines 11 coastal regions, within which Regional Coastal Management Plans will apply the policy to specific geographical areas, and where the boundaries of control districts and key coastal sites will be defined. The plan indicates that a period of 10 years is needed to implement the regional plans.

The plan defines outcomes, principles and policies under 10 headings: coastal use and development, physical coastal processes, public access to the coast, water quality, Indigenous traditional owner cultural resources, cultural heritage, coastal landscapes, conserving nature, coordinated management, research and information.

The State Coastal Plan has the effect of a State Planning Policy under the Integrated Planning Act 1997. Local government must take the policy into account in making new plans and assessing developments. State agencies must have regard to the plan, and the Queensland EPA is given the task of working with other state agencies to implement the plan's provisions.

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