Coastal and Marine Protection

The Tasmanian Greens recognise that our coastal environment is of prime ecological, economic, social, and cultural value.

The Tasmanian Greens recognise that our coastal environment is of prime ecological, economic, social, and cultural value. We also acknowledge that Tasmania’s coastline is a shared community asset, as well as a shared Commonwealth, State and Local responsibility. Tasmania’s natural coastal areas are currently under unprecedented threat from the impacts of climate change, marine biodiversity decline and inappropriate development.

We believe that coastal zone stewardship must protect the integrity of coastal waters, beaches, hinterlands, catchments, rivers, wetlands and lakes, and recognise their ecological interdependence.

Effective coastal management must recognise the ecosystem services provided by coastal and estuarine environments while decisions must be based on the Precautionary Principle in order to build resilience, protect biological diversity and ecological integrity. Any resource in a coastal zone should only be utilised in accordance with its capacity to be sustainable. We acknowledge the recreational importance of coastal areas but are mindful of the impact of recreational use, not only on the present ecology of a site, but on how it will affect the environment of future generations. All such use must be within the capacity of the zone to absorb that impact without detrimental effect.

Extensive research in Tasmania and internationally confirms the critical importance of no-take Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in building climate and marine pest-resilience while strengthening sustainable fisheries. Tasmania’s current system of no-take MPAs is manifestly inadequate.

Our coastline also makes a significant contribution to the value of Tasmania’s natural brand and tourism economy. Maintenance of the scenic, cultural and ecological value of our coastal environment will benefit Tasmania’s economic future by protecting the core brand value of ‘pristine’.

Measures

Legislation and Regulation

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. establishing a strong and effective State Coastal Framework including enforceable planning instruments and coastal protection legislation;

  2. developing comprehensive regulations which give certainty to communities and developers by clearly defining areas off-limits to development and which areas may be suitable for low-impact, sustainable development, while clarifying which types of development are permitted in which areas;

  3. ensuring that the provisions of any such regulations are reflected in planning schemes statewide.

Management and Planning

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. creating a dedicated Coastal Protection Unit to oversee compliance with a strong and effective State Coastal Framework, support any prosecution of breaches, and assist citizens in their rightful prosecution of legitimate cases against non compliance.

Reserves

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. preserving the integrity of all coastal and marine reserves through effective management plans and a natural systems based strategy;

  2. extending, strengthening and registering the existing network of marine reserves to establish a comprehensive, adequate and representative system of marine, wetland, estuarine and coastal reserves;

  3. legislating to prevent the privatisation of coastal and marine reserves and institute the public trust doctrine to ensure public enjoyment and shared community ownership of coastal areas is protected from private interests.

Development

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. requiring the preparation of proponent-funded environmental impact statements undertaken with independent expertise, including climate change analysis, for all proposed developments within the coastal zone.

Sand Mining

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. prohibiting sand mining in fragile and at-risk coastal areas;

  2. ensuring all sand mining in coastal regions to is subject to rigorous planning assessment before approval.

Vehicular Access

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. introducing strict regulation of vehicular access to coastal zones.

Pollution

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. increasing policing and monitoring of potential pollutants in the coastal zone, particularly from marine traffic in coastal waters, sewerage operations and landfill sites;

  2. legislating stronger penalties for breaches, including higher maximum fines and revocation of operating licences.

Catchment Management

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. developing whole-of-government programs to implement and promote total catchment management;

  2. promoting the planning and structuring of management around bio-regions such as water catchments.

Public Participation

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. improving inter-agency communications and public access to information relating to the coastal zone held by government bodies and agencies.

Marine Farming

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. returning the marine farming sector to management under the auspices of the Resource Management and Planning System;

  2. legislating to bring marine farming under the Land Use and Planning Approvals Act 1993.

The full policy is available for download below.