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Integrated natural resource management in Australia: the opportunity offered by a national coastal policy

journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2002, 00:00 authored by Geoffrey WescottGeoffrey Wescott
Under the Australian Constitution the management (and planning) of Crown Land is a State and Territory Government responsibility. When this is considered in conjunction with the Offshore Constitutional Settlement, which affirmed that coastal waters out to three nautical miles (in general) offshore were also the responsibility of State and Territory Governments, then clearly coastal management in Australia is largely a State/Territory responsibility.

Beyond three nautical miles it is a different story. Under the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS), which Australia ratified in October 1994, Australia claims jurisdiction out to 200 nautical miles and beyond (Wescott, 2000). These waters cover an area including the Antarctic claim of over 15 million square kilometres or twice the land area of Australia.

Hence in marine and coastal terms we have the national (Commonwealth) Government managing the oceans and seven State and Territory governments largely in charge of coastal management (coastal land and coastal waters). Heading "up river", State and Territory Governments plan and manage catchments.

Given the uncoordinated relationships between Australian coastal management policy and both catchment management policy and Australia's Ocean Policy (Commonwealth of Australia, 1998a and b), the Commonwealth Government's commitment to a "National Coastal Policy" presents an opportunity to progress the integration of natural resources management for the first time in decades.

History

Journal

Australian journal of environmental management

Volume

9

Pagination

138 - 140

Publisher

Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand

Location

Melbourne, Vic.

ISSN

1322-1698

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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