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 Victorian Government is delivering on its commitment to develop a new Marine and Coastal Act, policy reforms and improved management arrangements.

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.  Many of the reforms were supported and other useful ideas were provided to enhance the system.

The drafting of the Marine and Coastal Bill is underway and expected to be introduced to Parliament in late 2017.  

To complement the new Act, a proposed transition plan is being developed for other reforms that will need to be progressed alongside the legislation.  The plan outlines a program of complementary reforms to transition to the new system over the coming years.

The focus is on those actions that can deliver reforms without legislative change and demonstrate the links to those reforms that would be enabled by the Marine and Coastal Act. These proposed actions will enable the effective management of Victoria’s marine and coastal environment for the benefit of all Victorians.  The proposed transition plan is expected to be released when the Bill is introduced to Parliament.

Marine and Coastal Act timeline

Useful background information:

The Consultation Paper outlined objectives and a series of reforms to Victoria's coastal and marine management system. The proposed system will include a new Marine and Coastal Act and other reforms that support Victorians to effectively manage coastal and marine areas into the future.

The release of the Consultation Paper in August 2016 was followed by an eight-week public consultation period in which 115 submissions were received from various stakeholders.

These 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