Coastal and Marine Management Plan

  • Project statusProject Steering Committee meetings underway
  • Last updatedFebruary 2024
Point Lonsdale Lighthouse and reef banks

About the project

The Borough’s coasts are special places. They’re among our most popular recreational spaces and tourist attractions, while also playing an important environmental role. To ensure our coasts are managed in a way that protects and preserves these features, we’re developing a long-term Coastal and Marine Management Plan for Council managed Marine and Coastal Crown land.

The first draft of Council's Coastal and Marine Management Plan is available to view. Compiled with the input of more than 270 consultation respondents, the Plan defines the Borough’s relationship with the coast in the face of climate change, erosion and other coastal hazards. It provides a roadmap for how we’ll use, manage and protect our coastal landscapes, helping to ensure individual developments or changes on the coast are considered strategically and in line with community priorities.

Consultation on the draft plan closed at 11:59pm on 13 February 2022. Feedback received is being used to update the Draft Plan.

Progress Update

February 2024

The Coastal and Marine Management Plan (CMMP) Project Steering Committee (PSC) met on 7 December 2023 and approved the draft CMMP for the purposes of exhibition, as required by the Marine and Coastal Act 2018. The intention was to present the draft CMMP to the February Ordinary Meeting of Council.

In the first week of January 2024, the Project Working Group received written comments from the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA). The comments are based on the newly released CMMP guidelines and have resulted in changes to the draft document that will need to be re-approved by the PSC.

The Project Working Group is aiming to present the revised draft to the PSC in March 2024. A better understanding of the revised timelines for a report to Council and public exhibition will be known, and communicated, after the PSC meeting.

July 2023

Since the first Draft of the Plan was developed, the Victorian Government has released draft Guidance on the development of Coastal and Marine Management Plans.

The Borough of Queenscliffe is currently working with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners, adjacent land managers and other stakeholders to prepare an updated plan. A Project Steering Committee with membership from Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, government agencies and the community is overseeing this next step of the planning process. The updated Draft Plan will be released in early 2024 for public consultation. 

October 2023

In August, Council representatives participated in the Wadawurrung Warri and Coastal Sharing Weekend. This was an opportunity for Council to share information about the plan and learn more about the obligations and responsibilities of Wadawurrung Traditional Owners. Wadawurrung community members also identified actions and priorities that they would like to see included in the plan.

In October, the Victorian Government released the Guidelines for Coastal and Marine Management Plans under section 41 of the Marine and Coastal Act 2018.

The project team is now working with the Project Steering Committee to update the Draft Plan. This includes reviewing and prioritising actions and working with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation to ensure their needs, priorities and assertions are integrated into the document. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Marine and Coastal Act?

The Marine and Coastal Act 2018 (also known as MACA) was introduced by the Victorian Government in August 2018 to provide a simpler, more integrated and coordinated approach to planning marine and coastal environment.

The new Act does this by:

  • enabling protection of the coastline and the ability to address the long-term challenges of climate change, population growth and ageing coastal structures; and
  • ensuring that partners work together to achieve the best outcomes for Victoria’s marine and coastal environment.
Why does Council needs its own plan?

Currently, the Borough of Queenscliffe must apply for specific consent with regards to MACA from the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning whenever any use, development or works is requested on marine and coastal Crown land.

This includes such well-loved locations as the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse Reserve and Shortland's Bluff, but also includes any marine and coastal Crown land up to 200 metres inland of the high water mark of Victorian coastal waters. In an area surrounded by water, like our Borough, that means a lot.

By preparing our a Coastal Management Plan for Council managed marine and coastal Crown land, Council can streamline the application process on future projects, resulting in faster turnaround times and more regular maintenance and regeneration of our most treasured local sites.

What area does the Coastal and Marine Management Plan cover?

Coastal and Marine Management Plans are required to be developed for specific areas of the coast designated as marine and coastal Crown land. In the Borough Council is the land manager for some but not all marine and coastal Crown land. Other land managers include Parks Victoria, Vic Track (Bellarine Railway), Barwon Water.

The Borough of Queenscliffe Coastal and Marine Management Plan applies specifically to the area marine and coastal Crown land we manage. In developing the plan we are also working with adjacent land manage to identify actions for issues that cross boundaries such as weed management and managing traffic.

2023 Update to the planning area

A recent correction was made to the planning area for the Coastal and Marine Management Plan. This means that two areas of council managed Crown land that were included in the first draft of the plan have now been removed from the plan.

These areas were declared not to be marine and coastal Crown land in 2018, as part of the process to introduce the Marine and Coastal Act. The affected areas are: Victoria Park (King Street), the Queenscliff Tourist Park (Hesse Street), Queenscliff Bowling, Tennis & Croquet Club (Hesse Street) and the vacant site previously occupied by Queenscliff High School (corner of Bellarine Highway and King Street).

The removal of these areas of the land from the planning area was a necessary step as there are provisions within the Marine and Coastal Act 2018 and Marine and Coastal Policy that apply only to land designated as marine and coastal Crown land.

What planning processes are in place for areas of land not in the scope of the Coastal and Marine Management Plan?

The planning for the use and development of land that is not declared marine and coastal Crown land is managed under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and requirements of the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978.

Forward planning for all open space in the Borough is contained in the Open Space Management Plan August 2018, with links to more detailed planning where it exists or is required.

A review of the Open Space Management Plan is currently underway. 

Thumbnail image credit: Shivapratap Gopakumar (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Stage one consultation report

The first stage of consultation for this project closed on 31 January 2021. We asked about how you use our coasts, what you think our coastal management priorities should be going forward, and how we should manage individual sections of coastline differently from each other. You can read a report containing the results of this consultation here(PDF, 1MB).