Victoria’s marine and coastal environments are special and unique places that support a range of activities, and provide significant social, economic and environmental benefits. Victoria has some of the best managed coastline in Australia, which has been enabled through the Coastal Management Act 1995.  There is a need however to improve and enhance our management and oversight arrangements to tackle ongoing challenges such as population growth, impacts from climate change and ageing infrastructure and put a much greater focus on our marine environment.

To do so, the Andrews Labor Government is delivering on its commitment to establish a new Marine and Coastal Act, policy reforms and improved management arrangements.

In consultation with the community and experts, we have developed a broad package of reforms to establish the new Marine and Coastal Act. This package includes the Marine and Coastal Bill which has been introduced to parliament.

The Bill will improve the current marine and coastal management system by: establishing clear objectives and guiding principles for decision making; improving governance and institutional arrangements; strengthening marine and coastal planning and management; establishing a mechanism to improve understanding of the marine and coastal environment; and supporting adaptation to climate change.

To accompany the Bill we have developed the proposed Transition Plan 'Strengthening Victoria's Marine and Coastal Management (PDF, 2.4 MB)'. This proposed plan identifies a program of complementary policy reforms and on ground actions, many of which are underway, to transition to the new system over the coming years.  

The proposed Transition Plan is expected to be finalised in 2018 once the Bill has been considered by parliament.

Marine and Coastal Act timeline

Useful background information:

The Marine and Coastal Act Consultation Paper (PDF, 4.1 MB) was released in 2016 and outlined objectives and a series of proposed improvements to Victoria's coastal and marine management system. Input and ideas from the community were sought in the consultation period, and a total of 115 submissions  were received from a wide range of stakeholders.  

The submissions are included in the following documents:

The feedback received has helped inform the development of the new Act and important changes to our marine and coastal environments.

A Consultation Summary (PDF, 448.8 KB) report was developed to provide an overview of the feedback received.

More information

To contact the Marine and Coastal Act Project Team, email