Following public consultation and review of the 2002 State
Coastal Management Plan, the draft Queensland Coastal Plan was released for
public comment on 28 August 2009.
The 2008 review of the 2002 State Coastal Management Plan
indicated that there were several areas for improvements including
aligning coastal management with the Integrated Planning Act 1997
(Qld) (IPA) framework and the need for proactive planning for the
sustainable use of sensitive coastal land.
The draft Plan aims to assist the management and protection of
Queensland's coastline against coastal hazards including
erosion, storm-tide inundation and sea-level rise, as well as the
increasing population and development of Queensland. A projected
sea level rise figure of 30 centimetres in 2050 is projected for
the State, increasing to 80 centimetres by 2100.
Key changes - New State Planning Policy
Significantly, the draft Plan introduces a new State Planning
Policy on Coastal Protection (SPP Coastal Protection), imposing
mandatory coastal protection considerations for certain planning
and development in Queensland. This is a notable shift from the
2002 State Coastal Management Plan. The SPP Coastal Protection
contains policy outcomes to be achieved when amending or making a
planning instrument, assessing development applications or
designating land for community infrastructure.
The SPP Coastal Protection aims to ensure compliance with the
Coastal Protection and Management Act 1995 (Qld) with regard to
development assessment and land-use planning within the coastal
The SPP Coastal Protection proposes that new development
minimises the need for intervention in physical coastal process to
protect human life and/or property from coastal hazards. Generally,
development located inside areas at risk of coastal hazards will be
discouraged. However, certain exceptions will apply:
where development already exists or an area has been identified
for development in areas of risk of coastal hazards, redevelopment
or infill development is acceptable if it is located, designed and
constructed in an approved form;
where an area has been committed to planned development,
erosion-prone areas and high-hazard inundation areas are to be
in other coastal hazard areas the land at risk cannot be used
for residential development and other development is required to be
located, designed and constructed to withstand or avoid the impacts
of coastal hazards;
exemptions for maritime development; and
exemptions where there is an overriding need for the
development in the public interest.
Other provisions of the SPP include:
the "land surrender" provisions of the Coastal
Protection and Management Act 1995 (Qld) may be enforced where it
is proposed that land within an erosion-prone area be subdivided.
This would require that land be surrendered to the State to create
a development-free buffer for coastal protection purposes;
if development is proposed within the urban footprint or rural
living area, developers must avoid adverse effects on areas of high
ecological significance. In the event that adverse effects cannot
be avoided, developers must minimise and offset residual
if development is proposed outside the urban footprint or rural
living area, developers must demonstrate that they have avoided
adverse effects on the values and functioning of an area where
development is undertaken in an area of high ecological
significance. In the event that adverse effects cannot be avoided,
developers must minimise impacts; and
when planning instruments are being prepared or amended, linear
expansion along the coast or "ribbon development" is to
be avoided - consolidated and physically separated settlements are
Policies addressing heritage, water quality, mining and fishing
(present in the 2002 State Coastal Management Plan) will be removed
and are addressed in separate policy mechanisms.
Area of application
The Coastal Protection and Management Act 1995 (Qld) stipulates
that the draft Plan is to apply to the management and conservation
of coastal resources within the "coastal zone". This Act
will be amended to reflect that zone comprises the State's
coastal waters and islands, as well as the area landward to five
kilometres from the coast or to where the land is below 10 metres
Australian Height Datum (whichever is further from the coast). The
coastal zone also extends to the coastal plains and hinterland
where activities can have a potentially indirect effect on the
coast. Draft maps have been prepared to assist in
determining the area the draft Plan applies to.
Public submissions on the draft Coastal Plan are invited until
31 October 2009. Submissions can be made using the online submission form.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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