On 1 August 2018 the Marine and Coastal Act 2018 came into effect.

The Marine and Coastal Act 2018 provides a simpler, more integrated and coordinated approach to planning and managing the marine and coastal environment:

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

Key elements include:

  • clear objectives and guiding principles
  • simpler advisory arrangements (including the introduction of a new Marine and Coastal Council)
  • integrated policy and strategy development
  • creation of a Marine Spatial Planning framework
  • delivery of the first ‘State of the Marine and Coastal Environment’ report
  • stronger regional and strategic partnerships
  • implementing more comprehensive Environmental Management Plans (including for Port Phillip Bay)
  • improved local planning and management
  • better coastal erosion management.

Victoria's Marine and Coastal Reforms Final Transition Plan (PDF, 7.9 MB), released 1 August 2018, complements the Marine and Coastal Act 2018. It identifies a program of policy reforms and on-the-ground actions, many already underway, to transition to the new system over the coming years.  

The plan has been updated to reflect the new Act. It also includes recommendations made in the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office report, Protecting Victoria’s Coastal Assets, released in March 2018.

The transition plan lists 45 actions to be delivered between 2018 and 2022.  Each action item includes:

  • brief background/description
  • lead partners
  • likely delivery time frame
  • scope of work                                                                                                                                            
  • measures of success.

A fact sheet (PDF, 334.7 KB) provides more information about the new Act. For any specific queries, please email marine.coastalact@delwp.vic.gov.au.

To be kept informed of future consultation opportunities, please go to Engage Victoria and register your interest.

On 1 August 2018, the inaugural Marine and Coastal Council was appointed under the Marine and Coastal Act 2018. The council will be chaired by Dr Anthony Boxshall and has been appointed for a three year term. The seven members with expertise related to the functions set out in section 16 of the Act are:

  • Dr Anthony Boxshall (Chair)
  • Dr Ian Knuckey 
  • Ms Jennifer Fraser
  • Ms Jacquie White
  • Ms Anna Grage
  • Dr John Sherwood 
  • Professor Alistar Robertson


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

The submissions are in the following documents:

The feedback received has helped inform the development of the new Act and important changes to how we look after our marine and coastal environment.

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

A proposed Transition Plan 'Strengthening Victoria's Marine and Coastal Management (PDF, 2.4 MB)' was then developed to accompany the introduction of the Marine and Coastal Bill 2017. The proposed plan was released in December 2017 and identified a program of complementary policy reforms and on ground actions to transition to the new system over the coming years.

Page last updated: 26/10/18