Queensland’s coast is a significant natural resource and provides valuable ecosystem services that support the state’s economic and social development. However, the high demand for use of coastal land by the community can result in coastal environments becoming degraded or used for purposes contrary to the objectives of the Coastal Protection and Management Act 1995 (Coastal Act).
Coastal environments constantly adapt to change as a result of dynamic natural processes, such as tides, waves, floods, storms and cyclones, and changes in sea level. Climate change impacts, such as increasing sea levels, increasing intensity of storms and cyclones, and changed rainfall patterns will compound and extend the vulnerability of Queensland’s low-lying coastal areas to coastal hazards. Degraded environments can accelerate this rate of change and increase instability in coastal environments.
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has a regulatory role in development assessment in parts of the coastal zone declared as coastal management districts. The coastal management district predominantly incorporates erosion prone areas outside built up urban areas.
Coastal Protection State Planning Regulatory Provision
The Coastal Protection State Planning Regulatory Provision (the SPRP is the primary instrument used by local government and the department for assessing development in the coastal zone and the coastal management district. It suspended operation of the Queensland Coastal Plan – State Planning Policy for Coastal Protection (SPP 3/11) in October 2012.
The Queensland Coastal Plan – State Policy for Coastal Management remains in operation.
It is intended that the SPRP will be replaced by the single State Planning Policy(single SPP) during 2013. A draft single SPP has been released for public consultation by the Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning. The draft single SPP includes policies articulating the state's interests in planning and development, including revised coastal SPP 3/11 polices. Further information about the SPRP or draft SPP is available from the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning.
Queensland Coastal Plan – State Policy for Coastal Management
The State Policy for Coastal Management, available in the library catalogue provides policy direction and guidance for maintaining, rehabilitating and protecting coastal land, and managing activities undertaken on it with particular emphasis on managing public coastal land. It addresses management activities that are not defined as ‘development’ under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.
Note that the Queensland Coastal Plan presently contains a second part – State Planning Policy for Coastal Protection: SPP 3/11. The statutory effect of this SPP has been suspended by the SPRP.