management arrangements for victorian mangroves and coastal saltmarsh Management arrangements for mangroves and coastal saltmarsh are complex because of the occurrence of these vegetation types within the coastal zone, an area covered by a multiplicity of policies, statutes and by-laws and with diverse international, national, state and local influences. That complexity is further enhanced by the number of government agencies and non-government organisations that play a role in the planning and management of the coastal zone which encompasses mangrove and coastal saltmarsh environments.
The Victorian Coastal Strategy 2008 (Victorian Coastal Council 2008) identified those individuals and agencies with a role in coastal management:• Owners of Crown land, represented by the Minister for Environment and Climate Change• Communities, visitors and other users• Planners, such as the Department of Sustainability and Environment, local government, and Coastal • Land managers, such as Parks Victoria, Committees of Management or local government• Agencies that regulate use and behaviour, such as the Environment Protection Authority• Researchers, such as academics and students from universities• Private sector, such as landowners and developers.
Mangroves and coastal saltmarsh are rarely specifically mentioned in the legislation and policies that govern them; however the principles of management that refer to natural environments on the coast, whether relating generally to flora or fauna, incorporate these intertidal habitats. This chapter outlines and discusses the relevant legislation and policies that relate to the management of mangroves and coastal saltmarsh. An important early point to make is that of the protection afforded (or not afforded) to mangroves and coastal saltmarsh in Victoria. As native indigenous vegetation, mangroves and coastal saltmarsh are, in principle, given a fundamental level of protection under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. They are further protected through regulation under the policy framework established through the planning system by Victoria's Native Vegetation Management – A Framework for Action. Other legislation, both federal and state, may also provide some level of protection to mangroves and coastal saltmarsh through their association with international conventions or agreements which are mainly linked to provision of habitat value, i.e. wetlands for migratory bird species or endangered species, such as the Orange-bellied Parrot Neophema chrysogaster. The strength of protection can be reinforced through the conservation status of plant communities or Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVCs) and/or the status of their constituent species. One of the objectives of this project was to describe and review the conservation status of saltmarsh and mangrove EVCs. Table 6.3 shows the recommended Victorian Bioregional Conservation Status ratings for mangroves and coastal saltmarsh EVCs, based on current levels of threat and depletion.
The conservation status of threatened Victorian vascular mangrove and saltmarsh plant species has been assigned by the Department of Sustainability and Environment (2005a) in its Advisory List of Rare or Threatened Plants with the following categories: x (presumed extinct), e (endangered), v (vulnerable), r (rare) chapter 2: management arrangements for victorian mangroves and coastal saltmarsh and k (poorly known). Avicennia marina is listed as rare in Victoria in the Advisory list. Sixteen saltmarsh plant species are listed as rare or threatened in Victoria, including, for example, Atriplex paludosa, Juncus revolutus, Limonium australe and Lawrencia spicata.
Management arrangements an overview
international agreements The Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) is more commonly called the Ramsar Convention. It is an intergovernmental treaty that embodies the commitments of its member countries to maintain the ecological character of their Wetlands of International Importance and to plan for the ‘wise use' of all of the wetlands in their territories. As a signatory to the Ramsar Convention, Australia is obligated to manage internationally significant wetlands listed under the agreement for conservation. If the wetlands are utilised, it is be done in a manner consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development (i.e. so that ecological function is maintained). Wetlands occurring within a signatory's jurisdiction that satisfy one or more of the criteria for identifying wetlands of international importance may be designated and included in a list of internationally significant wetlands. There is no requirement in the Convention that Ramsar sites be publicly owned; they can be in private ownership although generally in Australia governments have tended not to nominate private land.
Victoria has at least five Ramsar-listed wetlands that contain mangroves and/or coastal saltmarsh (Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2008): Gippsland Lakes (total wetland area 60,000 ha); Corner Inlet ( 67,000 ha); Port Phillip Bay (Western Shoreline) and Bellarine Peninsula ( 23,00 ha); and Western Port ( 59,000 ha). Because of the nature of governance arrangements in Australia, each state government manages its Ramsar wetlands and regularly reports on actions to the federal government. In response to its obligations to manage Ramsar-listed wetlands, the Victorian Government prepared the overarching Strategic Directions Statement for Management of Victoria's Ramsar Wetlands (Department of Natural Resources and Environment 2002a), which provided a framework within which strategic management plans for individual Ramsar sites were prepared. Each of Victoria's 11 Ramsar wetlands has strategic management plans in place and those Ramsar wetlands containing mangroves and/or coastal saltmarsh have been identified for protection under the relevant management plans. For example, the Port Phillip Bay (Western Shoreline) and Bellarine Peninsula Ramsar Site Strategic Management Plan (Department of Sustainability and Environment 2003) contains a site-management strategy to protect all existing mangrove and saltmarsh habitats and, where practicable, rehabilitate areas subject to degradation.
With respect to maintaining the ecological character of each site, the Commonwealth and state governments are required to notify the Ramsar Secretariat of any changes that have occurred since the declaration of each site. To meet that requirement, Ecological Character Descriptions (ECDs) are progressively being undertaken to provide a baseline description of a wetland at a given time, which can then be used to assess change in the ecological character of each site (Department of Environment and Water Resources 2007). The development of ECDs will aid in complying with requirements relating to the management of Ramsar-listed wetlands under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. 182 mangroves and coastal saltmarsh of victoria: distribution, condition, threats and management
The development of ECDs is an important tool to support the implementation of the individual strategic management plans for each listed site. They offer an opportunity to quantify and report on changes that have occurred in the combination of ecosystem components, processes and benefits/services that characterise each listed site. The ECDs are aimed, therefore, at being able to identify declines in ecological condition so that management interventions can be undertaken to ensure that the component criteria for the original Ramsar designation are maintained.
International treaties relating to migratory birds and other fauna
Australia is signatory to a number of international treaties for the protection of migratory species. The most important are the Japan-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (JAMBA), China-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (CAMBA), Republic of Korea – Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (ROKAMBA) and Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Bonn Convention). These treaties require that the habitats of listed taxa be protected, conserved, secured and restored, in order to ensure the survival of the taxa. Important actions include preventing the introduction of pest species detrimental to habitats and listed taxa. Taxa listed under the agreements and occurring within Australia fall under the protection of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
legislation relevant to mangroves and coastal saltmarsh Legislation relevant to mangroves and coastal saltmarsh is provided at national and state levels, with both governance systems establishing a framework within which more detailed planning and application of regulations can be applied. Unlike other states (e.g. New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland), Victoria currently does not have legislation that specifically and directly provides protection for mangroves and coastal saltmarsh. By contrast, in New South Wales for example, mangroves are protected under fisheries legislation, and coastal saltmarsh is listed as an Endangered Ecological Community under the state's threatened species legislation, Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (see Department of Environment and Climate Change 2009). In Victoria, the equivalent legislation that most closely offers protection for mangroves and coastal saltmarsh is the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, which aims to protect all native flora and fauna in Victoria. Although its aims are wide-ranging in terms of covering all native flora and fauna, its broadness actually weakens its effectiveness. Application of the Act over public land is reasonably effective, but over private land its effectiveness is weakened because the Act lacks the power to implement its objectives. To some extent this weakness is overcome under the Native Vegetation Framework (see below) and its broader incorporation under the planning system. commonwealth legislation Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
The Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) provides protection for listed taxa and communities. The Act requires that all developments that have an impact or a potentially significant impact on listed matters, including listed flora and fauna, are referred for approval to the Commonwealth. Neither saltmarsh as a community, nor plant species occurring within Victorian saltmarsh, are listed under the Act. One endangered faunal species under the Act, however, does occur in chapter 2: management arrangements for victorian mangroves and coastal saltmarsh Victorian saltmarsh: Orange-bellied Parrot. Migratory species, including those listed in international treaties to which Australia is a signatory (see above), also are protected under the EPBC Act. These species are shown in Table 2.1. Ramsar sites also are protected and any proposed activity that may affect the ecological character of a Ramsar site requires approval under the Act. Significant impact on ecological character is considered likely if there is a real chance it will result in: • Destruction or substantial modification of the wetland• Substantial and measurable changes to the hydrological regime of the wetland• Substantial and measurable changes in the water quality of the wetland• The habitat or lifecycle of native species dependent on the wetland, including invertebrate and fish fauna, being seriously affected • Establishment of an invasive species that is harmful to the ecological character of a wetland.
A nomination for listing ‘Subtropical and temperate coastal saltmarsh' as a threatened ecological community under the Act is currently being processed, and covers all coastal saltmarshes south of 23o S and, as such, encompasses coastal saltmarsh in Victoria (Geoff Carr, 27 April 2010). It is anticipated that short-listing of nominations may be known later in 2010, with a final outcome of the listing process known by 2012.
The EPBC Act provides also for listing important threatening processes that may affect biodiversity. Of the listed threatening processes, the loss of terrestrial habitat caused by anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, which includes the effects of sea-level rise, is most significant for mangroves and coastal saltmarsh. Listed threatening processes with a lesser impact on Victorian saltmarshes include competition and land degradation by rabbits and hares, and predation, habitat degradation, competition and disease transmission by feral pigs and goats. Unmanaged goats on French Island, for example, are problematic for coastal saltmarsh (see Chapter 1.11). Two listed threatening processes affecting saltmarsh fauna are also relevant: predation by foxes and by feral cats. 184 mangroves and coastal saltmarsh of victoria: distribution, condition, threats and management
Table 2.1: Provisional list of threatened and migratory species that occur regularly in Victorian saltmarshes under various
articles of federal or state legislation. Note: the list is not exhaustive and other species falling into these categories are
likely to occur in coastal saltmarsh.
Common name
White-faced Storm-Petrel Australian Pelican White-winged Black Tern Pied Oystercatcher Red-kneed Dotterel Pacific Golden Plover Double-banded Plover Red-capped Plover Black-fronted Dotterel Black-winged Stilt Bar-tailed Godwit Common Greenshank Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Australian White Ibis Straw-necked Ibis Intermediate Egret chapter 2: management arrangements for victorian mangroves and coastal saltmarsh Common name
Nankeen Night-Heron Australian Little Bittern Australian Shelduck Pacific Black Duck Australasian Shoveler White-bellied Sea-Eagle Black-shouldered Kite Orange-bellied Parrot Blue-winged Parrot Fork-tailed Swift Swampland Cool-skink Key:EPBC – Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999; NAP – National Action Plan (see text below); FFG – Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.
DSE – Status according to DSE (2003): Advisory List of Threatened Vertebrate Fauna in Victoria – 2003; CE – Critically Endangered; EN – Endangered; VU – Vulnerable; NT – Near Threatened; LC – Least Concern; LR-NT – Lower Risk - Near Threatened; R-IK – Rare or Insufficiently Known; R/R – Rare and Restricted; DD – Data Deficient; CD – Conservation Dependent.
L – Listed under the FFG Act 1988; M – Migratory or marine overfly species listed under the EPBC Act 1999. 186 mangroves and coastal saltmarsh of victoria: distribution, condition, threats and management
Recovery Plans are required to be prepared for listed threatened species and ecological communities under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Recovery Plans are binding on the Australian Government, and agencies must act in accordance with those Plans. The Plans identify threatened species on a national level for several groups of fauna, including birds and reptiles, and identify threatening processes and appropriate management actions to redress species decline. Four bird and one reptile species occurring regularly in saltmarsh are listed in the Recovery Plans.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984
The Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 provides for the protection of Aboriginal cultural property in Victoria, under Part IIA, introduced in 1987. Powers and responsibilities set out under this section were delegated to the Victorian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs immediately following its introduction, and are administered on a daily basis by Aboriginal Affairs Victoria.
The Commonwealth Act differs from state legislation (see below) in that it affords protection for cultural property in the broadest sense, and encompasses places, objects and folklore. The law applies equally to ancient and contemporary cultural property. Written consent is required from the relevant Victorian Aboriginal community to disturb, destroy, or interfere with or endanger an Aboriginal place, object or archaeological site. The regulations of the Act also list and define the areas of Victorian Aboriginal Communities. new arrangements for natural resource management in victoria New arrangements concerning natural resource management in Victoria were announced in 2009 by the Victorian State Government under Securing Our Future – A White Paper for Land and Biodiversity at a Time of Climate Change (Department of Sustainability and Environment 2009c). The White Paper outlines a range of changes to how land and biodiversity will be managed into the future. Also outlined are revisions to the governance and policy framework for natural resource and biodiversity management in Victoria. The new focus will be enhancement of ecosystem resilience, and management of flagship areas and biolinks. The White Paper identifies flagship areas across the state that contain important natural assets and have spatially explicit biophysical features of the environment that are of value to humans from ecological, social, cultural or economic perspectives that arise from the ecosystem services they provide. Relevant sites that encompass mangroves and/or coastal saltmarsh areas include the South West, Otways, Western Volcanic Plains, Western Port, Wilsons Promontory, Gippsland Lakes and Far East Gippsland. The White Paper contains also an action to identify further marine flagship areas and establish management targets and management plans by 2014.
Other changes proposed in the White Paper include:• Establishing a new Natural Resource and Catchment Council which amalgamates the existing Victorian Catchment Management Council, Victorian Coastal Council and the Victorian Environment Assessment Council.
• Establishing new regional Natural Resource and Catchment Authorities covering coastal regions such as Gippsland, the Melbourne Metropolitan region including Port Phillip Bay and Western Port through the amalgamation of regional Catchment Management Authorities and regional Coastal Boards. These new Authorities will have responsibility for providing advice on planning proposals which will have potential chapter 2: management arrangements for victorian mangroves and coastal saltmarsh impacts on water in the environment, for supporting decision making by local government, and assisting with natural resource implications of strategic planning, including the selection of planning tools such as overlays and schedules.
• Preparation of a new Victorian Natural Resource Management Plan to establish a framework for the development of regional catchment strategies. It will cover coastal and marine environments and integrate theme-based strategies such as the Victorian Coastal Strategy, the River Health Strategy and the revised Biodiversity Strategy.
• One of the roles of the new Natural Resource and Catchment Authorities will be to provide a regional interpretation of the Victorian Coastal Strategy.
• Reviewing the scope of regional Catchment Strategies to land management on both public and private land and relate to land-use planning. They will include a planning addendum to align regional and local planning. The addendums will set out priorities for local planning for each local Council and identify areas that can and cannot be developed without affecting important catchment values and will set standards for development outcomes. The regional Catchment Strategies will include a model schedule for an Environmental Significance Overlay to improve the alignment of whole-of-catchment land use and planning to encourage consistent application of planning scheme overlays to protect and identify significant catchment features, such as wetlands and high-value biodiversity areas.
• Establishing a new Natural Resource and Catchment Management Bill, which will amend the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 and consequential amendments to the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and the Coastal Management Act 1995.
• Establishing a new Biodiversity Conservation Bill which will replace the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and Wildlife Act 1975, and link biodiversity, ecological processes, and land-use and water management.
With respect to management of coastal and marine environments that include mangroves and coastal saltmarsh, the White Paper outlines actions to:• Prepare marine habitat condition assessments• Develop a non-statutory management plan for Western Port• Prepare vulnerability assessments of key coastal, estuarine and marine ecosystems• Develop decision-making tools to address climate change impacts on coastal, estuarine and marine These changes recognise the limited influence that existing Catchment Management Authorities have had with respect to land-use planning and the development and administration of planning schemes. In principle, the changes should be beneficial for mangroves and coastal saltmarsh in terms of their gaining specific recognition as important coastal ecosystems requiring protection in their own right. The potential benefits, however, will need to be measured in the longer term against the potential for confusion and ineffectiveness arising from poor implementation.
There is an opportunity for the new Natural Resource and Catchment Authorities to give greater recognition of mangroves and coastal saltmarsh through regional interpretations of the Victorian Coastal Strategy. An increase in recognition of mangroves and coastal saltmarsh could provide for a stronger level of protection and management to improve the condition of these environments. The proposal to increase the focus of regional Catchment Strategies on the coastal environment and the intention to broaden the scope of the River 188 mangroves and coastal saltmarsh of victoria: distribution, condition, threats and management
Health Strategy to encompass estuaries provides a new opportunity to address the impacts of climate change, particularly in relation to provision for adaptation in mangrove and coastal saltmarsh environments.
Already, there is agitation from many organisations (e.g. Australian Coastal Society) over the loss of the existing Victorian Coastal Council and the regional Coastal Boards as part of the amalgamation of natural resource management organisations outlined under the White Paper (e.g. see Arup 2009). The Victorian Coastal Council has been recognised nationally as a leading example of an effective body in terms of coastal strategic planning and management. Its loss is viewed with disbelief and fear that similar arrangements, such as those that have occurred in New South Wales, will see coastal planning and management in Victoria being overtaken by inland land-management issues.
For mangroves and coastal saltmarsh, the risk of a focus on planning and management of the coastal zone being overshadowed by inland land and catchment-management issues means that what emphasis they have enjoyed in planning and management in the past may vanish. As shown in Chapter 3, mangroves and coastal saltmarsh have had little recognition (by agencies or the wider public) in the past, and the need to highlight their values and importance will be diminished if coastal planning and management is not catered for specifically under the new natural resource management arrangements outlined in the White Paper.
current victorian legislation Securing Our Future – A White Paper for Land and Biodiversity at a Time of Climate Change (Department of Sustainability and Environment 2009c) proposed a number of changes to the way in which biodiversity will be managed in Victoria, and some of these changes will result in changes to existing legislation. Some of the current arrangements described below may change as the White Paper is implemented in coming years.
Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988
The purpose of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (FFG Act) is to protect Victoria's indigenous plant and animal species. A central function of the Act is to facilitate the listing of taxa and ecological communities that are considered under threat. It enables also the listing of processes that threaten the ability of Victoria's flora and fauna to flourish and continue evolutionary processes in the wild. The Act requires that ‘action statements' be prepared for all listed threatened species and communities. Action statements identify management actions and land-use restrictions that may apply to public and/or private land. The presence of listed taxa guides local government land-use planning decision making and the granting or otherwise of planning permits.
Under Securing Our Future – A White Paper for Land and Biodiversity at a Time of Climate Change, the Act is proposed to be repealed and replaced with a new Biodiversity Conservation Act, which will have a focus on ecosystem processes and cumulative impacts and links between biodiversity, ecosystem processes and land and aquatic management. It is intended that the new legislation will be introduced in late 2012. Coastal saltmarsh has been previously nominated for listing (Carr et al. 2000) under the FFG Act, but the nomination was rejected by the Scientific Advisory Committee. Sufficient evidence was not provided in the nomination to satisfy the Committee that the coastal saltmarsh community was rare or threatened with extinction when the total extent of the community in Victoria was considered. The Committee considered chapter 2: management arrangements for victorian mangroves and coastal saltmarsh that, although recognisable components of the community were probably threatened, the community as described was too broadly defined to be eligible for listing. Although saltmarsh is not listed as a threatened community, a number of fauna species listed under the Act occur in Victorian coastal saltmarsh or nearby estuarine/marine communities (Table 2.2). (Note that our Recommendation 12, Chapter 8, is to renominate coastal saltmarsh for listing under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.) It is anticipated that the current study will provide sufficient evidence to ensure that a renomination will address the previous concerns of the Scientific Advisory Committee.
Several threatening processes affecting or potentially affecting mangroves and coastal saltmarsh in Victoria are listed under the FFG Act. The most important are: • Alteration to the natural flow regimes of rivers and streams• Habitat fragmentation as threatening process for fauna in Victoria• Introduction and spread of *Spartina to Victorian estuarine environments• Invasion of native vegetation by ‘environmental weeds'• Wetland loss and degradation as a result of change in water regime• Dredging, draining, filling and grazing.
Table 2.2: Fauna species occurring in Victorian saltmarsh or estuarine habitats listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee
Common name
Orange-bellied Parrot Rallus pectoralis Porzana pusilla palustris Intermediate Egret Ardea intermedia Egretta garzetta nigripes Eastern Great Egret Ardea modesta Xenus cinereus Grey-tailed Tattler Sternula caspia Sternula nilotica Sternula nereis nereis White-bellied Sea-Eagle Egernia coventryi Pale Mangrove Goby 190 mangroves and coastal saltmarsh of victoria: distribution, condition, threats and management
Coastal Management Act 1995
The objectives of the Coastal Management Act 1995 are to plan for and manage coastal resources sustainably, protect coastal areas of environmental significance, facilitate recreation and tourism facilities, and provide public education on coastal matters. Coordination of strategic planning and management for the Victorian coast is achieved through the establishment of the Victorian Coastal Council and regional Coastal Boards and the preparation of the Victorian Coastal Strategy and regional Coastal Action Plans. Crown land and private land both fall within the Act's purview. The Act provides also for the preparation and implementation of management plans for coastal Crown lands. Coastal Crown land refers to the intertidal zone and Crown land within 200 m of the high-water mark. However, any Crown land may be declared to be coastal Crown land for purposes under the Act (Section 3 [1] and [2]), presumably on the basis that it assists in meeting the objectives of the Act.
The Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978
The Act provides for the reservation of Crown land, including for purposes of preserving areas of ecological significance and wildlife habitat, preservation of native plant taxa, and management of wildlife. It governs the preparation of regulations for the care, protection and management of Crown land reserves and provides for the licensing of Crown land for a variety of uses, including grazing where it does not contravene the purposes for which the reserve was created. The Act governs the appointment and operation of committees of management for coastal Crown land foreshore areas reserved under the Act, which can consist of the relevant local government authority, Parks Victoria, or government-appointed committees of management.
The National Parks Act 1975
The National Parks Act 1975 sets out a framework to establish and manage national, state and other parks within Victoria. A number of these areas include mangrove and coastal saltmarsh (e.g. Wilsons Promontory National Park; Yaringa, French Island and Churchill Island Marine National Parks). In al , 70% of Victoria's coastline is in parks that are proclaimed under the jurisdiction of the Act (Victorian Coastal Council 2008). The objectives of the Act are to manage lands, which includes for the protection of flora and fauna values.
Conservation, Forests and Land Act 1987
The Act was created to allow the responsible Minister ‘to be an effective conserver of the state's lands, waters, flora and fauna; and to make provision for the productive, educational and recreational use of the state's lands, waters, flora and fauna in ways which are environmentally sound, socially just and economically efficient.' It allows for: the Minister to establish committees or councils to provide advice and recommendations on subjects relevant to the achievement of the Act's objectives; the Department to purchase or acquire land; requires public authorities to submit plans of works explaining how land, water and wildlife will be protected (presumably where these occur on Crown land), except for works authorities issued under the Extractive Industries Development Act; and provides for agreements under Section 69 between the Secretary and a landholder for the management, use, development, or conservation of land.
Section 69 of the Act is referred to under Clause 52.17 of the Victorian Planning Provisions in relation to the creation of property vegetation plans, setting out the management, retention or removal of vegetation under the Native Vegetation Management Framework. Agreements may restrict use or certain activities, and may chapter 2: management arrangements for victorian mangroves and coastal saltmarsh require the owner or the Department to undertake works for management, use, or conservation of flora and fauna; and these agreements may bind successors in title. Landholders may receive advice, financial assistance, compensation for lost income, or rate assistance. The Act also allows grants or loans to be made to landholders to achieve land management objectives, outside of section 69 agreements (s68).
Wildlife Act 1975
The Wildlife Act 1975 provides protection for all native terrestrial fauna species. Its purpose is to protect and conserve wildlife, protect wildlife taxa from becoming extinct, and to regulate the conduct of persons engaged in activities relating to wildlife. The legislation can include jurisdiction over State Wildlife Reserves and Nature Reserves where they are reserved under the Crown Lands (Reserves) Act 1978 for the propagation or management of wildlife or the preservation of wildlife habitat. It also covers Wildlife Management Co-operative Areas and Wildlife Sanctuaries, both of which may include private land, and Prohibited Areas. Section 12 specifies that the Secretary is responsible for the management of Wildlife Reserves, the propagation or management of wildlife, or the preservation of wildlife habitat. The Secretary must prepare management plans for Wildlife Reserves and Nature Reserves. Significant areas of saltmarsh are managed as reserves created under the Act, including Lake Connewarre State Wildlife Reserve (3,400 ha), and Jack Smith Lake State Game Reserve (2,700 ha).
Under Securing Our Future – A White Paper for Land and Biodiversity at a Time of Climate Change, the Act is proposed to be repealed and replaced with the proposed Biodiversity Conservation Act.
Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994
The Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 creates the Victorian Catchment Management Council (VCMC) and the regional Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs). Under the Act, CMAs prepare Regional Catchment Management Strategies, and participate in the nomination of invasive plant species for listing under the Act; species so listed may then require landowners to eradicate, control, or prevent the spread of the species. Other management actions may be required, to prevent environmental and resource degradation. As defined in the Act, ‘landowner' includes the Director of Parks Victoria or the Minister responsible for other Crown lands, and anyone holding a lease or license over Crown land, as well as private landowners and other government authorities. The VCMC and the CMAs may form committees and may initiate investigations into particular issues, and CMAs may declare areas to be subject to special land-management requirements. The Planning and Environment Act 1987
The Planning and Environment Act 1987 establishes the land-use and development planning and control system and is currently under review. Objectives include the sustainable use and development of land and the ‘protection of natural and man-made resources and the maintenance of ecological processes and genetic diversity'. It establishes planning schemes administered through municipalities, setting out objectives, polices and controls for the use, development and protection of land. It provides a framework for planning schemes through the Victorian Planning Provisions (VPPs), as discussed later.
Under this legislation, municipal planning schemes are given subordinate legislation status and can contain planning policies which relate to coastal saltmarsh and mangroves over both private and public land. The 192 mangroves and coastal saltmarsh of victoria: distribution, condition, threats and management
Planning and Environment Act 1987 also provides the opportunity for planning schemes to cover not only private land but also public land including beyond the low-water mark (Harty 1988). It allows planning schemes to effectively apply across the tidal zone from above the high-water mark to below the low-water mark and cover this transitional environment with planning policy as well as land-use zoning and development control overlays, effectively covering coastal saltmarsh and mangroves. As such, if a planning permit is triggered for a land-use or development proposal under the planning scheme that affects mangrove or coastal saltmarsh areas, the decision-making body must consider any planning policies that relate to the proposal and/or the mangroves and coastal saltmarsh areas. Although, across Victoria, the majority of planning schemes extend at least to the low-water mark, there are few examples of planning schemes that extend beyond that level. Exceptions include planning schemes of some local governments around Port Phillip Bay, which can extend up to 600 m into the Bay. This situation is, in part, a reflection of historical planning arrangements dating back to the 1970s with the Port Phillip Authority.
More generally, the Victorian Planning Provisions contain a number of zones and overlays that can be used to protect environmental and landscape values, such as the Environmental Significance Overlay and the Vegetation Protection Overlay. Theoretically at least, these could be used to protect mangroves and coastal saltmarsh.
The Act empowers planning authorities to make and amend statutory planning schemes and responsible authorities to administer and enforce planning schemes, including making decisions under the planning scheme on planning permit applications. Both of these roles are usually held by local Councils, although sometimes they may be undertaken by the Minister for Planning for matters considered to be of state significance. Responsible authority decision making on planning permit applications may include granting a planning permit, usually with conditions or refusing an application with grounds of refusal. Decisions made under a planning scheme or the Act generally are subject to rights of review to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) whereby the Tribunal takes over the decision-making powers of a responsible authority to hear and adjudicate on disputes and appeals and determine matters.
Environment Effects Act 1978
The Environment Effects Act 1978 establishes the process of investigating and considering the potential environmental impacts or effects of a proposed development. The central component is the preparation of a rigorous Environment Effects Statement (EES). The proponent of the development is responsible for preparing an EES if the Minister for Planning decides that one is required. It is not an approval process itself, but instead a way of enabling Ministers, local government and statutory authorities to make informed decisions about whether a project with potentially significant environmental effects should proceed. The EES is usually assessed as part of an overall assessment process under the Planning and Environment Act 1987. After the EES is completed and released for public comment, the Minister for Planning provides an assessment to the relevant decision-makers. There are also opportunities for community involvement at certain stages of the process, including during the preparation, exhibition and public assessment of an EES. Examples of projects affecting coastal saltmarsh where an EES has been required include the Stockland development at Point Lonsdale (discussed below), and the Victorian Desalination Project in South Gippsland, near the Powlett River estuary. chapter 2: management arrangements for victorian mangroves and coastal saltmarsh Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006
This Act promotes ‘the management of Aboriginal cultural heritage as an integral part of land and natural-resource management', and requires an assessment of and approval for any developments or uses of land, including the construction or carrying out of works, that might be harmful to that heritage. Works include any action changing the physical nature of a place, alteration to the topography of land, and the removal of vegetation or topsoil. Aboriginal cultural heritage includes places and objects, which may post-date European settlement. Places may include an area of land or water, natural feature, formation or landscape. Aboriginal heritage may extend to or include places that contain saltmarsh or mangroves. Environment Protection Act 1970
The Environment Protection Act 1970 underpins the State Environment Protection Policies (SEPPs; see below) which provides a legal framework for the protection and rehabilitation of Victoria's surface-water environments. The uses and values of the aquatic environment are known as ‘beneficial uses'. Environmental quality objectives and indicators are defined to protect beneficial uses and an attainment program provides guidance on protection of the beneficial uses. The beneficial use of most relevance to biodiversity is ‘aquatic ecosystems'. The Policy requires that aquatic ecosystems be protected. Impacts to surface-water quality must not result in changes that exceed water-quality objectives specified to protect beneficial uses. Proponents and land managers need to ensure that direct and indirect (e.g. runoff ) impacts to surface-water quality do not exceed the water quality objectives. The SEPPs provides recommendations to ensure that beneficial uses are protected.
Water Act 1989
The Water Act 1989 provides a framework for the allocation and management of surface water and groundwater throughout Victoria. It provides a principal mechanism for maintenance of ecosystem functions including those of aquatic ecosystems. Any construction or maintenance activity that affects beds and banks of waterways, riparian vegetation, or the quality or quantity of water requires a licence, permit or approval from the relevant authority. Heritage Act 1995
The purpose of the Heritage Act 1995 is to protect and conserve places and objects of cultural heritage significance, through assessment, registration and listing of significant items and places on the Heritage Register or World Heritage List. The Act creates the Heritage Council, which is responsible for adding places and objects to the Heritage Register. The Register also includes any place in Victoria included in the World Heritage List; in addition the environs to a World Heritage Area may be added to the Register. Plans for the protection and conservation of the World Heritage values of these areas must be prepared. Developments, which include works, can only proceed in places on the Register subject to permit. Works include any action changing the physical nature of a place, alteration to the topography of land, and the removal of vegetation or topsoil. Some places listed on the Victorian Heritage Register contain areas of saltmarsh, for instance, Churchill Island, in Western Port. There are currently no World Heritage Places in Victoria that contain mangroves or saltmarsh.
194 mangroves and coastal saltmarsh of victoria: distribution, condition, threats and management
Land Conservation (Vehicle Control) Act 1972
This Act allows for the declaration of public land as erosion hazard areas. In such areas the Act may deny access to unauthorised motorised vehicles, prevent the removal of or damage to any vegetation, prevent the taking of sand, gravel, rock or clay, and disallow water or fluids to be drained or discharged over the area. The Act specifies substantial penalties, and includes police among the agents who may enforce the Act.
current victorian policy The policy framework most relevant to the management of mangroves and coastal saltmarsh in Victoria includes Victoria's Biodiversity Strategy, the Victorian Coastal Strategy and Victoria's Native Vegetation Management – A Framework for Action (Department of Natural Resources and Environment 1997, 2002b; Department of Sustainability and Environment 2009a; Victorian Coastal Council 2008). These statewide policies bear the most direct relationship to mangroves and coastal saltmarsh either through their direct reference to these habitats, or indirectly by addressing issues relating to coastal environments or vegetation protection and management. Other policies that also may have some relevance include regional policies developed through coastal action plans, regional vegetation plans or planning policies contained in local sections of municipal planning schemes.
Securing Our Future – A White Paper for Land and Biodiversity at a Time of Climate Change proposed to revise the governance and policy framework for natural resource and biodiversity management in Victoria. The policies described below are current but may change as a result of the implementation of the White Paper.
Victoria's Biodiversity Strategy
Victoria's Biodiversity Strategy (Department of Natural Resources and Environment 1997) was prepared to meet an obligation under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. It sets out goals for biodiversity management in the state, including those on which the Native Vegetation Management Framework is based. (The Native Vegetation Management Framework is the basis of the ‘Net Gain' mechanism for vegetation protection.) Under Bays, Inlets and Estuaries, it contains a priority management response to ‘increase understanding, protection and monitoring of vulnerable habitats, particularly seagrass, mangroves and saltmarsh'. The Strategy is currently under review, and future strategies will implement the priorities to be identified in the Securing Our Future – a White Paper for Land and Biodiversity at a Time of Climate Change, which will set overarching goals for biodiversity into the future (Department of Sustainability and Environment 2009a). Native Vegetation Management Framework
The Native Vegetation Management – A Framework for Action (Department of Natural Resources and Environment 2002b) is relevant to mangroves and coastal saltmarsh because it introduces the concept of Net Gain as an important policy platform in Victoria. Moreover, it establishes the Ecological Vegetation Class (EVC) classification system for native vegetation and incorporates that system of management into all planning schemes across the state through the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPPs). The Framework requires that any development must apply the principles of avoid, minimise and offset when dealing with native vegetation. Where avoidance is not possible, any loss of native vegetation must be offset through chapter 2: management arrangements for victorian mangroves and coastal saltmarsh the protection, enhancement and recreation of (similar) native vegetation elsewhere. The nature, size and location of vegetation offsets are determined according to the quality of the vegetation and the conservation significance of the EVC. Clause 11.03 of the VPP references the Framework as one policy within a number of environmental policies and strategies that must be taken into account when preparing amendments to or making decisions under a planning scheme. Clause 15.09 requires Planning and Responsible Authorities to have regard for the Framework. Clause 52.17 requires a planning permit for the removal, destruction or lopping of native vegetation, which includes mangroves and coastal saltmarsh. The Department of Sustainability and Environment is the referral agency when clearing involves areas over 0.5 ha of vegetation of an EVC with a bioregional conservation status of endangered, vulnerable or rare, and in instances where removal of more than 1 ha is proposed of an EVC with a bioregional conservation status of depleted or least concern.
State Environment Protection Policy (SEPP) (Waters of Victoria)
This policy, administered by Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) and redrafted in 2003, in part provides objectives, attainment goals and indicators for monitoring environmental quality for the surface waters in Victoria (Environment Protection Authority Victoria 2003). The areas include marine and estuarine environments, wetlands and lakes, and specific areas including Port Phillip Bay, Western Port and the Gippsland Lakes. Parties responsible for implementing the policy include the Environment Protection Authority, Catchment Management Authorities, regional Coastal Boards, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Department of Primary Industries, Parks Victoria, industry and communities. The SEPP requires that waters are of a quality and quantity adequate to support a range of beneficial values or uses. Clause 39 states that Department of Sustainability and Environment, Department of Primary Industries, Parks Victoria and CMAs need to encourage landholders and occupiers of Crown land to restrict stock access to surface waters; this action is reiterated in Clause 50. Clause 43 says that works on or adjacent to surface waters need to be managed to minimise environmental risks posed to the aquatic ecosystem and to protect other beneficial uses. Clause 46 deals with minimising the impact of urban storm water on receiving waters, while Clause 50 addresses the impacts of agriculture, and Clause 54 with the need to protect native vegetation within or adjacent to surface waters. It supports the goal of Net Gain in extent and quality of native vegetation. Minimising the impacts of recreation on beneficial uses is addressed by Clause 55. Victorian Coastal Strategy 2008
The Victorian Coastal Strategy (Victorian Coastal Council 2008) was developed under the Coastal Management Act 1995 and guides coastal and estuary planning policy in Victoria. The Strategy applies to both private and public land and has the purpose to provide (page 5): 1. a vision for the planning, management and use of coastal, estuarine and marine 2. the government's policy commitment for coastal, estuarine and marine environments,3. a framework for the development and implementation of other specific strategies and plans such as Coastal Action Plans, management plans and planning schemes, and 4. a guide for exercising discretion by decision-makers, where appropriate.
196 mangroves and coastal saltmarsh of victoria: distribution, condition, threats and management
Those sections relevant to coastal saltmarsh and mangroves are provided under Section 1.2 Wetlands and Estuaries. The overall approach is to ‘Develop and implement an integrated river, wetland and estuary strategy, based on asset priorities and integrate the recommendations into relevant planning and management strategies'. Two policies relevant to coastal wetlands are:• Increase our understanding of onshore environments through research and monitoring programs to determine the impacts on wetlands and estuaries • Protect and improve the ecological integrity of Ramsar sites, coastal wetlands and estuaries.
These policies are to be implemented jointly by the Department of Sustainability and Environment, Catchment Management Authorities, Parks Victoria, Department of Primary Industries, various Committees of Management, and the Victorian Coastal Council. Two noteworthy aspects of the implementation approach are: • The generic nature of the policies and the lack of specific reference to mangroves and coastal saltmarsh, unlike previous versions of the Coastal Strategy where specific reference was made to protecting, improving, understanding and monitoring coastal and estuarine wetlands, including mangroves and saltmarsh. • The omission of local government and regional Coastal Boards from assisting with implementation of the Strategy's actions on wetlands and estuaries. The omission of the latter two types of bodies means that the councils responsible for planning schemes will have no direct involvement in undertaking the planning implementation needed to protect mangroves and saltmarsh. By inference, the lack of inclusion of local government in the strategic planning for mangroves and saltmarshes, and giving them some ownership for the planning process, could result in an increased risk of failure to persuade councils to implement amendments to planning schemes for policy, land-use and development control.
The Strategy includes a policy to plan for a sea-level rise of not less than 0.8 m by 2100. Harty (2008) noted the importance of having a benchmark established for sea-level rise, but questioned how planning could address the effects of sea-level rise on natural systems such as mangroves and coastal saltmarsh, given the pressure that future hazards from rising seas may invoke on resources and competition to protect urban, rural and natural areas. Other areas of concern include the increased recreational and ‘sea-change' pressure on coastal areas, with the potential to have negative impacts on coastal biodiversity and habitats. Policies proposed for integration into the relevant planning and management strategies include the protection and improvement of the ecological integrity of Ramsar sites, coastal wetlands and estuaries, as well as onshore coastal environments. Actions to achieve these include increasing connectivity between habitats, ensuring there is a comprehensive system of coastal reserves, increasing the estate of coastal Crown land through land swaps, donations and purchases, control ing illegal access from private land and the encroachment of private property, encouraging the management of private land for conservation through a variety of mechanisms, and encouraging the eradication of environmental weeds. To allow adaptation to sea-level rise, the Strategy advocates the ‘revegetation of land abutting coastal Crown land using local provenance indigenous species to build the resilience of the coastal environment and to maintain biodiversity'. It advocates also integrating ways to address climate change risks and impacts into the Victorian Planning Provisions. In managing recreation, it aims to ‘protect natural and cultural values while optimising visitor experiences', and to ‘prohibit unauthorised off-road access to coastal Crown land by private vehicles'. chapter 2: management arrangements for victorian mangroves and coastal saltmarsh Coastal Action Plans
Regional policy relevant to mangroves and coastal saltmarsh are found in various Coastal Action Plans. Coastal Action Plans can vary in their scope from geographical based plans, such as the Moyne Coastal Action Plan or the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Action Plan, to issue-based plans, such as the Gippsland Estuaries Coastal Action Plan or the Central West Victoria Estuaries Coastal Action Plan (Western Coastal Board 2005). The latter, for example, covers the coast between Cape Otway and Queenscliff and contains, under Chapter 5 – Toolkit for Estuary Management, a relevant management objective under 5.1.2 Planning – Aquatic Habitats to: Protect key and representative estuarine aquatic habitats such as wetlands, saltmarshes, mangroves, seagrass beds, rock platforms, ledges and key wildlife habitats such as beach nesting sites, intertidal feeding grounds, high tide roosts and islands by appropriate environmental policies, zonings, overlays (Victoria Planning Provisions) or reservation under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978. If privately owned, consider acquisition with the consent of the owner to the National Park or Crown Reserve systems or application of conservation covenants.
Coastal Spaces Landscape Assessment Study 2006
The Coastal Spaces Landscape Assessment Study 2006, prepared as part of the Coastal Spaces project, recommended local councils adopt a new local planning policy for Management of Coastal Landscapes. As an example, the Future Character Directions for the Corner Inlet coast is stated as: 1.5 Waratah Bay / Corner Inlet This Area will continue to be characterised by open rural land adjoining a natural coastal edge. Settlements on the coast will be contained and development managed to retain extensive natural coastal environments including beaches, salt marsh, mangrove mud flats and dune coasts. Development in rural areas will be set back from viewing corridors and amongst native vegetation so as to protect the scenic and open views to Wilsons Promontory and the Strzelecki Range (including Mt Hoddle).
The report also identified where Significant Landscape Overlays should be applied along the Victorian coast. One of the most important objectives relating to mangroves and coastal saltmarsh is: To manage development at the coastal edge of settlements so that the intact, natural, coastal character is the dominant feature of the landscape i.e. the Corner Inlet mangrove coastal edge of Port Albert and Port Welshpool and the Waratah Bay dunal coastal edge of Waratah Bay and Sandy Point.
Victorian Planning Provisions
The Victoria Planning Provisions (VPPs) set out the format and allowable content of planning schemes in Victoria. They provide a ‘toolkit' to enable planning authorities to prepare planning schemes. The VPPs provide the framework, standard provisions, zones, overlays and state planning policy. 198 mangroves and coastal saltmarsh of victoria: distribution, condition, threats and management
The VPPs require a planning scheme to:• Provide a clear and consistent framework within which decisions about the use and development of land • Express state, regional, local and community expectations for areas and land uses• Provide for the implementation of state, regional and local policies affecting land use and development.
The VPPs contain state planning policy under the State Planning Policy Framework (SPPF). The SPPF informs the planning authority (usually the local Council) on the development of local planning policies within the Local Planning Policy Framework (LPPF). The LPPF provides the opportunity for the local Council to undertake its own strategic planning and incorporate the outcomes from such planning into their planning scheme. The LPPF consists of the Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS) and Local Planning Policies (LPP) and together:• Identifies long-term directions about land use and development in the municipality• Presents a vision for its community and other stakeholders• Provides the rationale for the selection and application of zones and overlays in the planning scheme.
The SPPF and LPPF policies seek to achieve net community benefit and sustainable development and are to be prepared to avoid inconsistency.
The suite of standard zones and overlays in the VPPs has been designed to be flexible. That approach, however, reinforces the need for state and local policy frameworks to provide clear guidance for responsible authorities and applicants to make decisions on land-use and development proposals. Councils must select zones and overlays only from the VPPs. Zones and overlays under the VPPs cannot be altered; however, they both permit the use of schedules to reflect local characteristics and values of a locality or to address an issue that may have a wider geographical occurrence. For example, the schedule to a zone may allow a council to impose limits on subdivision size or density or to establish requirements for approval of earthworks that may alter water flow patterns. With regards to a schedule to an overlay, the council may wish to address the need to ensure that wetlands such as saltmarsh and mangroves are protected from adverse effects of development. In this way flexibility is provided for the standard VPPs planning tools to be developed and used to address local issues. Relevant State Planning Policy under the Victoria Planning Provisions
Clause 15 of the State Planning Policy Framework addresses the environment. Some of the relevant policies under the SPPF that relate to the planning, protection and management of saltmarsh and mangroves across coastal Victoria are outlined in Table 2.3.
chapter 2: management arrangements for victorian mangroves and coastal saltmarsh Table 2.3: State planning policies relevant to mangroves and coastal saltmarsh under the SPPF.
15.01 – Protection of Policy seeks to assist the protection and, where possible, restoration of catchments, waterways, catchments, waterways and water bodies, groundwater, and the marine environment.
Clause 15.01-2 requires planning authorities to have regard to strategies and plans of Catchment Management Authorities, including regional catchment strategies, regional vegetation plans and regional river health strategies. They must also have regard for action statements and management plans declared under the FFG Act, and the maintenance of water quality and vegetated waterway buffer zones.
For saltmarsh and mangroves the policy requires councils to consider the impacts of catchment activity on marine and estuarine environments and to encourage the retention of 30 m buffers to maintain waterway function and to manage stormwater runoff.
15.02 – Floodplain Addresses issues of floodplain management, including protection of floodplain areas of environmental significance. 15.03 – Salinity The objective is to minimise the impact of salinity and rising water tables, including on areas of environmental significance. 15.08 – Coastal areas Seeks coastal areas to be managed to protect, maintain and enhance natural ecosystems and areas of environmental significance, consistent with the hierarchy of principles of the Victorian Coastal Strategy, which provides for ‘the protection of significant environmental features' as the first principle. Development in low-lying coastal areas, in identified coastal hazard areas subject to erosion or inundation and disturbance of acid sulfate soils are to be avoided. The revegetation of cleared land abutting coastal reserves is also encouraged.
15.09 – Conservation of Seeks to protect and conserve biodiversity, including retaining native vegetation, providing native flora and fauna habitats for native flora and fauna, and controlling pest plants and animals; FFG Act listed taxa, communities and threatening processes must also be addressed. That clause requires that the Native Vegetation Management Framework be followed when considering permit applications for vegetation clearance, and where amendments or subdivision applications may remove vegetation (i.e. avoid, minimise, offset). The habitat values of Ramsar wetlands or utilised by species designated under the Japan-Australia Migratory Birds Agreement (JAMBA) or the China- Australia Migratory Birds Agreement (CAMBA) must not be adversely affected by changes in land use or development. The spread of pest plants and animals should be considered. The use of property vegetation plans and voluntary agreements between landholders and the Department of Sustainability and Environment is also encouraged. Relevance of Local Planning Policy to mangroves and coastal saltmarsh
Every planning scheme contains the LPPF, which outlines the local policies for a municipality. The LPPF includes the MSS which contains those policies that outline where and how growth is to be expected. It identifies also those parts of the municipality that have environmental significance and describes how environmental values and assets are to be protected and enhanced and how growth is to be managed to achieve these goals.
In the planning schemes of those coastal-based councils in Victoria, coastal planning is addressed in their respective LPPFs. Nevertheless, direct reference to saltmarsh and mangrove vegetation and environments in local planning policy is limited and tends to be covered in a general manner as part of an aim to protect coastal vegetation and is associated with marine and estuarine environments. Many local government councils are currently reviewing their MSSs, with a view of improving how their planning scheme policies address coastal environments more explicitly. Recent examples where saltmarsh and mangroves are specifically mentioned include the Bass Coast Shire and the City of Greater Geelong. Details of both are provided below.
200 mangroves and coastal saltmarsh of victoria: distribution, condition, threats and management
Bass Coast Planning Scheme
The MSS of the Bass Coast Planning Scheme was reviewed and now contains a detailed suite of planning policies under Clause 21.07 dealing with the environment. Relevant policies include biodiversity conservation and habitat protection, with an emphasis on protecting the coastline from degradation and inappropriate development. They seek to:• Discourage access to intertidal areas directly from private properties• Encourage development adjacent to reserves with habitat to enhance the environmental values of the • Ensure that the boundary between reserves and abutting properties are clearly delineated and protected from incursion by adjoining private properties • Recognise and protect the Western Port Ramsar-listed wetlands, Anderson Inlet and the Marine • Address coastal erosion by encouraging the planting of mangroves along the coast, especially Western Port, to minimise impacts. Greater Geelong Planning Scheme
The City of Greater Geelong undertook a review of their planning scheme's MSS, and similar to Bass Coast, has updated their planning policy reference to coastal saltmarsh and mangroves through indirect and direct policies. Under Clause 21.05 dealing with the natural environment are the following planning policies:• Clause 21.05-2 – Waterways, which refers to the impacts of urban runoff into estuarine and marine waters and seeks to ensure that buffers between wetlands and development are provided • Clause 21.05-3 – Biodiversity, which seeks to protect, maintain and enhance biodiversity• Clause 21.05-4 – Coastal environments, which seeks to protect, maintain and enhance the coast, estuaries and marine environments; it also specifically looks to setback future land use and development from coastal areas, estuaries and coastal wetlands to provide a buffer which is adequate to accommodate coastal recession and the landward migration of coastal wetland vegetation communities such as coastal saltmarsh and mangroves • Clause 21.05-5 – Climate Change, which seeks to avoid land use and development at risk to the impacts of rising sea levels.
Relevance of Land Use Zones to mangroves and coastal saltmarsh
The VPPs provide a suite of zones and overlays to control land use and development. For coastal saltmarsh and mangroves that occur on public land, the zones that are applied are either the Public Conservation and Resource Zone (PCRZ) or the Public Park and Recreation Zone (PPRZ). Although both zones offer protection, the PCRZ is the more appropriate zone to apply to protect natural environments such as coastal saltmarsh and mangrove habitat on public land. The PCRZ is very strong in conserving natural environments, and supports the activities of government agencies such as the Department of Sustainability and Environment and Parks Victoria, as well as foreshore Committees of Management and local Councils in undertaking their respective land-management duties.
However, where coastal saltmarsh and mangroves occur on private land the PCRZ is not appropriate and the choice of zones is more limited. For rural areas, the Rural Conservation Zone (RCZ) is the most protective chapter 2: management arrangements for victorian mangroves and coastal saltmarsh for mangroves and coastal saltmarsh. The RCZ requires land use and development to be subservient to the environment and promotes only those land uses that will protect or enhance environmental values. The strength of the RCZ for protection of environmental values can also be further reinforced through the ability to modify the Schedule to the zone to include specific objectives for conservation and to adjust some of the controls such as the minimum lot size for subdivisions. A disadvantage of the RCZ (in its application) is that there is often reluctance on the part of councils to apply it over rural land, and if it is applied its effectiveness is limited to new land use which has not previously occurred on the land. Effectively, existing-use rights provided under Victoria's planning system usually prevent zones like the RCZ from effectively managing pre-existing land uses such as grazing or cropping. In many situations such land uses often create significant impacts on mangroves and coastal saltmarsh.
For urban land, there is no zone under the VPPs that has a conservation focus analogous to that of the RCZ. The use of overlays that regulate development increases their importance for the purpose of providing some level of recognition and protection for coastal saltmarsh and mangroves; this is a significant shortfall of the existing VPP structure.
Relevance of Overlays to mangroves and coastal saltmarsh
The use of Overlays is important to reinforce the recognition of the value of coastal saltmarsh and mangroves and their protection. The ability to apply Overlays requiring permits for development to protect environmental values, such as the Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO), the Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO), and the Significant Landscape Overlay (SLO) is critical in bringing to bear the consideration and assessment of development, the planning policy framework contained under a planning scheme. The use of Overlays such as the ESO can be more effective due to the ability to develop Schedules which can relate to specific areas. Schedules can address particular types of vegetation, habitat or environmental issues. Examples include the ESO containing a Schedule relating to particular coastal areas and estuaries, vegetation communities or species' habitat. In support of their application, the ESO Schedule can contain a statement of environment significance; objectives to be achieved; permit triggers or exemptions for development; application requirements in terms of what documentation needs to be submitted with a planning permit application; and decision guidelines to assist both an applicant and the decision-making body to consider, assess and determine the application. Sometimes, however, where a useful planning tool such as the ESO is applied, it fails to achieve any real effectiveness in protection of coastal saltmarsh and mangroves. The South Warrnambool Wetlands – an important saltmarsh near the mouth of the Merri River – provide an example where an ESO has not been applied effectively. An ESO4 relating to the South Warrnambool Wetlands has been applied to the area but only to the public land component, thus missing the surrounding area of private land from which most of the pressure on the wetlands is generated. Accordingly, the ability for council to require an applicant, and itself for that matter, to consider what the overlay schedule states is limited because it is often not triggered as part of the consideration of a development proposal which occurs on the adjoining private land, which the overlay does not cover. In the Bass Coast Planning Scheme an ESO1 – Coastal Wetland Areas – has been applied along the Western Port shoreline. It does extend over the privately owned land areas that adjoin some of the more significant coastal saltmarsh and mangrove wetlands along the eastern shoreline, such as near Grantville. Development 202 mangroves and coastal saltmarsh of victoria: distribution, condition, threats and management
proposals on land adjoining these wetlands will therefore require a permit from Council, thus triggering the need to consider relevant planning policy and possible referrals to the Department of Sustainability and Environment for advice. Although permits may be granted or not, the most important aspect is that consideration of the need to ensure that the coastal saltmarsh and mangrove area is protected in the long term can be undertaken. VPP Particular Provisions
In the Particular Provisions of the VPP, Clause 52.16 allows the creation of native vegetation precinct plans, which identifies significant vegetation to be retained in a precinct and other vegetation that may be removed, subject to the ‘avoid, minimise and offset' provisions of the Native Vegetation Management Framework. Clause 52.17 protects native vegetation via the mechanism of requiring permits for its removal, and requires that the Native Vegetation Management Framework principles of avoid, minimise and offset be applied to permit application decisions and in the calculation of offsets to be provided. Regional Vegetation Plans prepared by CMAs must be considered, as must the role of vegetation in providing land protection, including the protection of water quality and waterway and riparian ecosystems and preventing land degradation including erosion and acidity, particularly in harsh climates such as coastal areas. Offsets must consider the requirements set out in the Native Vegetation Management Framework and approved Regional Vegetation Plans. Conservation significance must be considered, including vegetation quality and condition, the strategic location in the landscape, implications for sites of scientific, nature conservation or cultural significance, and if the native vegetation is a listed FFG Act community or provides habitat for FFG Act listed taxa. Permits may be granted according to conditions of individual vegetation property plans prepared under Section 69 of the Conservation Forests and Land Act 1987. VPP General Provisions
Under the VPPs, the General Provisions relevant to coastal saltmarsh and mangroves include: • Clause 65, which contains general decision guidelines to assist in determining proposals. It requires considering of the effects of development on the environment as well as the effects of the environment on development. This is important because it allows for the impacts of acid sulfate soils, which are often associated with mangroves and coastal saltmarsh areas, to be considered. Clause 65 calls up also the planning policy framework under both the SPPF and LPPF, the purpose of or any other matter required to be considered by a zone, overlay or other provision, the orderly planning of an area, the proximity of the land to any public land, any hazards, adequate stormwater management, areas of native vegetation and the suitability of land to be subdivided and the effect of subdivision on native vegetation and the character of an area.
• Clause 66.02-3, which requires permit applications for removal of more than 0.5 ha of vegetation of an EVC with bioregional conservation status of endangered, vulnerable or rare to be referred to the Secretary of the Department of Sustainability and Environment. • Clause 66.02-9, which requires referral to the Secretary of the Department administering the FFG Act for all applications for permits to use or develop land for extractive industry purposes in areas with FFG listed taxa and communities and critical habitat or for land which contains sites of flora or fauna significance identified in planning schemes.
chapter 2: management arrangements for victorian mangroves and coastal saltmarsh Under planning schemes, strategies such as the Victorian Coastal Strategy and the Native Vegetation Management Framework are incorporated policy, which gives them status as subordinate legislation. These incorporated policies and strategies are given a statutory role in decision-making on land-use and development proposals. However, as noted by Harty (2005b), the recent ‘sea-change' phenomenon has outstripped the pace of coastal planning across coastal areas of Victoria and especially in high-growth coastal areas close to Melbourne, such as around Western Port and the Bellarine Peninsular. The pace of growth along the coast has exposed a lack of planning direction to protect mangrove and saltmarsh habitat from the worst effects of development. It is noted that the 2008 version of the Victorian Coastal Strategy has moved to address the gap.
Local policy actions
An example of local action to develop policy that relates to coastal saltmarsh and mangroves is the City of Greater Geelong, which developed the Barwon River Land Use and Open Space Corridor Plan 2003. This Plan identifies a number of strategies for the mangrove and saltmarsh areas of the Barwon River estuary. Recommendations relating to coastal saltmarsh and mangroves in this plan are shown in Table 2.4.
Table 2.4: Recommendations regarding mangroves and coastal saltmarsh in the Barwon River Land Use and Open Space
Corridor Plan 2003.
Land use and landscape character Currently, residential development is being constructed in close Ensure residential development in close proximity to the proximity to the mangrove and saltmarsh area on the Barwon mangrove and saltmarsh area on the Barwon Heads side Heads side of the river. This is particularly prominent where of the river adheres to proposed design and development there is no road reserve between development and the river. guidelines for estuarine areas. Consider site-specific controls While this provides good visual access for residents, there is no to ensure private landscaping uses appropriate indigenous landscape or environmental buffer zone between the mangrove species, along with use of mechanisms to minimise impact habitat and housing. This may decrease the environmental of garden weeds, human access and domestic pets on values of this area including impact of garden weeds, human mangroves and saltmarsh areas.
access and domestic pets on the adjoining area.
Mangroves are currently being damaged from uncontrolled Support the implementation of the Barwon River Mangroves recreational access to the southern shores of the Barwon Concept Plan which has defined boat launching and elevated River in the vicinity of Sheepwash Road.
walkways for recreational access, along with areas to protect for revegetation or regeneration.
Apply the Environmental Significance Overlay in this area to recognise, protect and restore the environmental values.
There are significant and unique vegetation communities in Ensure ongoing protection of mangrove and saltmarsh this area including Moonah woodland, White (Grey) Mangroves vegetation communities. Develop a suite of sensitively and saltmarsh. In some locations the vegetation is experiencing designed interpretative signage to identify the diverse decline due to recreational and residential development in vegetation communities, their habitat and cultural values.
close proximity to them.
Barwon River is popular for recreational boating and fishing Support the ongoing implementation of formalised access through this reach, as identified in the consultation process.
points to the waters edge along the southern bank of the Recreational access along the southern bank of the Barwon Barwon River in the vicinity of Sheepwash Road to provide for River in the vicinity of Sheepwash Road is causing a decline recreational access, while reducing impact on the adjoining in the environmental values and vegetation, including the vegetation, as identified in the Barwon River Mangroves Mangroves along the shoreline.
Concept Plan. Develop interpretative signage at these locations (as part of a suite of signage developed for this area) to highlight the importance of the vegetation communities here for estuarine fauna values.
204 mangroves and coastal saltmarsh of victoria: distribution, condition, threats and management
Some recent legal decisions with implications for mangroves and
victorian civil and administrative tribunal The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) hears and determines disputes regarding planning decisions by local councils. Disputes can involve appeals against Council decisions to approve or refuse a land-use or development proposal. There has been a small number of matters brought to the Tribunal upon which it has made findings directly relevant to mangrove and coastal saltmarsh. Some cases are outlined below, to illustrate how consideration of the myriad statutes and policies relating to coastal planning can be interpreted in real-life planning decisions. • Shelton & Others v East Gippsland SC [2000] VCAT 268. This case involved the Tribunal allowing an education and training centre and tourist development on Raymond Island on the Gippsland Lakes, which the council had supported. The land proposed to be developed had foreshore frontage and contained saltmarsh vegetation, which was considered to be protected by an agreement made between the landowner and Council under Section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987. In supporting the proposal, the Tribunal found that: In our view, the development is nature-based, passive and informal. It has an excellent cohesive built form and the materials chosen are reflective of the coastal environment. Importantly, the development wraps around the significant saltmarsh vegetation community on the subject land, thereby acknowledging the environmental values of the site. The form of landscaping of the site and the presence of board-walks, simple timber forms etc. all respect the special environment in which they are located. This is simply not another standard coastal ‘resort' constructed of tilt slab etc., which shuns its natural context. This ‘resort', to our mind acknowledges its environmental context. This case represents a decision whereby the development demonstrated a sympathetic design and siting in relation to the coastal saltmarsh on Raymond Island near Paynesville on the Gippsland Lakes. It highlights the desire to have planning policies which are positive in terms of encouraging forms of development which will enhance and maintain mangrove and coastal saltmarsh areas. • Skinner v Warrnambool CC [2002] VCAT 769. This case involved the Tribunal upholding council's refusal to permit a wetland creation project that would have affected coastal saltmarsh on the Merri River estuary at Warrnambool. In reaching its decision the Tribunal commented that: It is apparent that alterations to the hydrology of this floodplain have occurred over time, as evident in the series of aerial photographs tendered by Mr Harty, however, the importance of this saltmarsh community is not contested. That it has a high degree of significance demands caution be taken when contemplating proposals that will alter the configuration of that community. This case represents the importance of hydrological impacts when considering development that changes stormwater flow patterns. It involved the need to consider the impacts of introducing freshwater into a saline environment comprising coastal saltmarsh vegetation.
chapter 2: management arrangements for victorian mangroves and coastal saltmarsh • Ivanovic v Casey CC [2006] VCAT 2329. This case involved the Tribunal refusing to permit development of a sporting complex on the outskirts of Tooradin on the northern shore of Western Port. The council had failed to determine the permit Application within the required statutory timeframe, but advised the Tribunal that it would not have supported the proposal. The proposal did not attract support from the local community. The land was bounded by the mangroves found at the northern end of Western Port. The Department of Sustainability and Environment offered no objection to the proposal, subject to the development not encroaching into adjoining mangroves. However, despite the consideration of the Department's response, the Tribunal commented in reaching its view that: Having regard to the input from these two Departments and the evidence of Mr Mueck I am satisfied that the Ramsar site will not be adversely affected by this development, provided that the steps outlined by the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment and by Mr Mueck can be achieved. However one of the matters listed by the Department causes me concern. I am not convinced by the evidence of Mr Hercus in relation to flooding and drainage flows into Western Port. It is clear that the soccer pitch and the car park will be periodically inundated and that there will be stormwater and tidal runoff from the site. It was Mr Hercus' evidence that fully sealed drainage systems would prevent the flow of polluted water from the site at times of flooding and that the levels of pollutants would be so small and so diluted that no adverse off site impacts would occur. While I accept that there may be an engineering solution to this problem, as matter of principle I do not accept that a recreation facility such as this should be subject to inundation on a relatively frequent basis (certainly not as rare as a 1 in 5, 1 in 10, 1 in 20 or 1 in 100 year events). I have already commented upon the inappropriateness of developing this site for a relatively intensive recreation facility – the propensity to flooding simply compounds my reservations. This case highlights the implications of flooding on development located close to mangrove and coastal saltmarsh. It demonstrates that new development should not be allowed to be subject to regular flooding, an issue which is predicted to increase in frequency due to climate change induced sea-level rise. The decision also highlights the potential for obstacles to be created which may impede the ability for mangroves and coastal saltmarsh to migrate in response to future sea-level rise.
• In 2008, the Tribunal considered the matter of climate change induced sea-level rise in relation to a proposal to use and develop a dwelling on each of six lots in a farming area between Toora and the Corner Inlet mangrove and saltmarsh zone (see Gippsland Coastal Board v South Gippsland Shire Council & Others [No 2] [2008] VCAT 1545). The Tribunal accepted that sea-level rise is a risk that can, and should be, considered against the merits of land use and development proposals on low-lying coastal land adjacent to mangrove and saltmarsh wetlands.
Land-use and development proposals that have the potential for significant environmental impacts can be assessed by a Planning Panel appointed by the Minister for Planning. Unlike VCAT, a Panel is not the final decision maker and can only make recommendations to the planning authority or Minister regarding the adoption or abandonment of a planning scheme amendment, such as a rezoning or the approval or refusal of a proposed land use or development.
206 mangroves and coastal saltmarsh of victoria: distribution, condition, threats and management
A recent Planning Panel case involving coastal saltmarsh vegetation is the Stockland Waterways and Residential Development at Point Lonsdale, near Queenscliff. The development was supported by an Environmental Effects Statement and was reviewed by a Planning Panel, which reported its findings in late 2008. The proposed development was for 598 residential lots, 170 retirement units and a 120-bed aged-care facility, built around a tidal channel connected to the sea at Swan Bay. Approvals were also required, sought, and given under the provisions of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 in August 2009. An earlier version of the proposed development included a golf course, and went beyond the area of land zoned for residential use. It was consequently denied authorisation by the Minister for Planning. As a result, the revised proposal was reduced in scale to remove the golf course component and confine the development to within the residential-zoned area.
The Stockland site had been zoned Residential for over 20 years, along with some Farming, Rural Conservation and Business Zoning. There is some existing residential development. It is connected to Swan Bay through a series of man-made channels and culverts, and formerly was the location of a shell-grit mining operation. The land, therefore, was in a disturbed state, although native vegetation – Coastal Saltmarsh and Saline Aquatic Meadow – had extensively colonised the site following mining (Carr et al. 2005). The proposed development would result in the loss of 2.3 ha of Coastal Saltmarsh and the potential degradation of retained areas of saltmarsh adjoining the development, as well as the removal of 32 ha of Saline Aquatic Meadow and 7.5 ha of Coast Moonah Woodland. It was proposed that offsets for the losses would be achieved by rehabilitation of saltmarsh and other vegetation elsewhere (Mueck & Smales 2007; Lane 2008). Approximately 30% of the site was proposed to be dedicated for conservation purposes. The biological and geomorphological values of the site include, inter alia, habitat for a suite of state and nationally-significant bird species, including potential habitat of the endangered Orange-bellied Parrot (C. Tzaros, Birds Australia, pers. comm.) and the 32 ha of Saline Aquatic Meadow of Very High biodiversity conservation significance (which cannot be offset under Victoria's Native Vegetation Management Framework). As pointed out by Carr et al. (2005), all the proposed methods of offsetting or compensation were without precedent, and thus untested.
Despite the recognised environmental values of the land, approval was granted in early 2010. The principle put to the Panel in this case was that the underlying zoning of the land created a presumption in favour of residential development. The question for the Panel, therefore, was not whether the site should be developed for residential living, but in what form and whether or not the design of the project and management measurements described in the EES adequately responded to the environmental constraints of the site and would provide an outcome that delivered a net community benefit.
lessons from the stockland case The Stockland case highlights the situation that a pre-existing residential zoning weakens the ability of planning authorities to reject developments, primarily because the underlying zoning inevitably promotes future land-use and investment expectations. As Harty (2003, 2005a) reiterated, it is critically important to ensure that land-use zoning is correct in the first instance so that land suitability and capability to accommodate forms of use and development and protection of environmental values are achieved. The case demonstrates also the importance of having clear and contemporary information, particularly on environmental values, made available to planning authorities so that the selection of a planning control and/ chapter 2: management arrangements for victorian mangroves and coastal saltmarsh or policy which best suits the values of the land and its environmental characteristics can be determined and implemented. Thus strategic planning processes and management following development (where appropriate) can be informed by good science. The case represents a lost opportunity to review the zoning of the land since it was originally rezoned and before the Stockland development proposal.
With regards to the consideration of conflict between development expectations generated by zoning and native vegetation, a 2009 decision of VCAT has recently provided some clarity to how native vegetation should be considered. In Reeve v Hume CC & Others [2009] VCAT 65, the Tribunal made it clear that recent amendments to the native vegetation provisions in Clause 52.17 of the VPPs shifted the focus to avoidance and minimisation, and that the starting point for considering the appropriateness of the development of land containing native vegetation of very high conservation significance was not the zoning of the land but the consideration of why such vegetation should be lost at al .
This VCAT decision therefore weakens the argument that zoning is the ultimate determinant of the outcome of vegetation impacts (as in the Stockland case), and strengthens the concept that the conservation significance of native vegetation should be the first priority for determining how impacts should be avoided. With regard to future proposals similar to that of Stockland at Point Lonsdale, it will become increasingly important that developments are designed to avoid and minimise impacts on native vegetation and fauna habitat that is of very high conservation significance. This change in emphasis should improve the protection of significant native vegetation and fauna habitat, such as mangroves and coastal saltmarsh.
How can management arrangements be improved?
clear identification of the municipal seaward boundary This issue is important in terms of governance of the intertidal zone and therefore of the management of mangroves and coastal saltmarsh. Under Section 3(3A) of the Local Government Act 1989 it states: If the boundary of a municipal district is described by reference to the sea coast…that boundary is to be taken to be the line for the time being of the low water mark on that sea coast. When that definition was first inserted into the Act in 1995 (the capital letter ‘A' in the section number flags it as a post-1989 amendment), the provision read ‘high water mark' the amendment to ‘low water mark' was made in 1997, thereby giving coastal councils control over the intertidal zone. But many planning schemes go beyond the low-water mark: for example, the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme goes to the low-water mark along the ocean and coast of Western Port, but 600 m out to sea on the coast of Port Phillip Bay. This is an example of councils exercising their functions outside their municipal boundaries, which they may be permitted to do under Section 3E(2) of the Local Government Act 1989. A similar situation may hold with other functions; for example, councils may be authorised under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 as a committee of management, the Marine Act 1988, or the Port Services Act 1995 as a port authority to exercise powers outside their municipal boundaries.
In reading Section 3(3B) of the Local Government Act, it is possible for a council's seaward boundary to be set at some location other than low-water mark. The City of Greater Geelong, for instance, extends 200 m 208 mangroves and coastal saltmarsh of victoria: distribution, condition, threats and management
out to sea along most of the Corio Bay foreshore. What are the consequences of these sometimes inconsistent boundaries? When a council is dealing with some coastal activity or development, it must know exactly how far its jurisdiction extends. Planning powers may extend 600 m out to sea, but Local Laws may terminate at the municipal boundary.
The opportunity for planning schemes to extend to the low-tide mark and beyond offers the ability to better integrate planning over both private and public land which covers mangrove and coastal saltmarsh environments and accordingly better aligns with the concept of the catchment to coast continuum (Harty 1987, 1988, 2005a). The combination of strategic planning policy formulation that can be undertaken in planning schemes and management planning allows for mangroves and coastal saltmarsh to be considered in a more integrated manner (Harty 2001b).
strategic planning and management It is evident that there is no one single planning or management instrument that can achieve all the desired environmental outcomes for mangroves and coastal saltmarsh that has few administrative requirements, low costs and high levels of political acceptability. Regulating new developments only through the planning process will not be effective in dealing with existing resource management problems, mainly because planning controls have little power to control existing unsustainable land uses or minor variations in those uses.
To manage and conserve coastal saltmarsh and mangroves effectively, a range of measures involving both planning and management need to be implemented that deal with the sustainable long-term use of land and water resources (Harty 2001a). To do so, a strategic planning process is useful in allowing a range of matters to be considered at a range of scales. It is a process which identifies and describes the values of coastal saltmarsh and mangroves, outlines the threats to them and develops a set of both statutory and management actions and tools that can have the support of both government and local communities (Harty 1992, 1994, 2001a, 2003, 2004).
In undertaking strategic planning that seeks to protect mangroves and coastal saltmarsh whether on public or private land, the plan should anticipate future land use and development change and direct what planning tools and management strategies should be applied, developed and implemented to support protection of these environments (Harty 2003). In a rural context, this could be achieved by adopting a regional system of mangrove and saltmarsh management. The regional program provides the overall management framework for mangrove and saltmarsh conservation based on core and buffer habitats. It facilitates the use of planning measures to guide land-use changes, combined with other conservation methods to implement sustainable land management. As a result, core wetlands are protected and land use is restricted and managed sustainably in buffer areas and beyond to ensure that desired environmental outcomes are achieved (Harty 2005a). An example of how strategic planning can be effective is the early identification of areas of mangroves and coastal saltmarsh to be protected and establishing ‘no go' areas where the impacts of land use and development would be too significant to accept or mitigate. Planning tools such as native vegetation precinct plans offer an opportunity where clear and early planning can set the context within which development or conservation can proceed. This type of forward planning has been undertaken for the protection of native grasslands located within the growth areas west of Melbourne as part of the structure planning of these areas and represents the effectiveness of involving authorities such as the Melbourne Growth Areas Authority, the Department of chapter 2: management arrangements for victorian mangroves and coastal saltmarsh Sustainability and Environment, VicRoads, Melbourne Water, the Port Phillip and Western Port CMA and local government to work together to facilitate conservation outcomes.
In a series of papers, Harty (2001a, 2003, 2004, 2005a, 2009) advocated the need to undertake strategic planning for mangroves and coastal saltmarsh along the south-east Australian coast. The use of estuary management plans, focussed on the estuary but including mangrove and coastal saltmarsh, can result in improved management and protection of coastal and intertidal wetlands. The underlying issue is how policy and planning could be more effective in protecting mangroves and coastal saltmarsh from poor decision making. There is a need to strategically identify the outcome to be sought regarding mangrove and coastal saltmarsh habitats. Following on from this issue, is the importance of selecting the right planning tools to implement the outcomes to be undertaken and implementing them. The selection of planning tools for mangroves and coastal saltmarsh may involve using a zone with a conservation focus such as the Public Conservation and Resource Zone for public land or the Rural Conservation Zone for private land or the application of the Environmental Significance Overlay or Vegetation Protection Overlay for protecting the vegetation over both land tenures and in rural and urban contexts. The choice of zone or overlay should be informed by what directions have been developed in the strategic planning process. In terms of implementation, it is important that planning and management directions are incorporated into the planning scheme or other statutory plan so that the policy directions are given legal clout. The statutory application of strategic planning policy in a planning scheme sense is then guided by three tests:• Ensuring that decisions that balance the wide range of policy directions, including those relating to economic development, protection of the environment and achievement of social benefit result in forms of development that achieve an acceptable outcome • That outcomes from a decision achieve a sustainable form of development• That the decision will achieve a net community benefit.
There are a number of actions that could support such strategies (Harty 2009). At the Commonwealth and/or state levels they include:• Provide legislative protection for mangroves and coastal saltmarsh• Prepare and/or update coastal or estuary policies/strategies to specifically refer to protection of mangroves and saltmarshes • Undertake comprehensive assessment of changes in the areas of mangrove and coastal saltmarsh and investigate their causes so that any decisions can be made as to what actions are needed (if any).
At the local government level, it may be appropriate to incorporate specific planning policy to protect mangroves and coastal saltmarsh under statutory planning schemes. At the more general level, benefits would accrue if the strategic planning process were used to develop clear policy directions for mangroves and coastal saltmarsh that include the estuary and catchment as combined ecological units, so that processes underlying vegetation changes are understood and actions can be better targeted.
The value of being strategic with future planning work, whether in a land-use development or land-management sense, is reflected in being able to balance and integrate often conflicting directions and outcomes. That value is often reflected in development proposals which may have impacts on mangroves and coastal saltmarsh but where the development proposes to put significant resources towards protection 210 mangroves and coastal saltmarsh of victoria: distribution, condition, threats and management

and enhancement of such areas through land management and on-ground works. Two examples of how such an approach has been used are provided by cases in New South Wales with the Brisbane Water Plan of Management at Gosford (Harty 1994), and in South Australia with the development of the Eyre Peninsula Coastal Development Strategy (Harty 2009). Similarly successful developments have occurred also in Victoria, at the Jawbone Conservation Reserve. Brisbane Water, New South Wales
Brisbane Water is an estuary on the mid-central coast of NSW, an area that has experienced rapid urban growth as an outer commuter area for Sydney (Figure 2.1). Despite extensive land use and development, the mangroves and coastal saltmarsh within Brisbane Water are extensive and remain largely intact and productive. Figure 2.1: Coastal saltmarsh and mangroves, Brisbane Water (New South Wales central coast).
Gosford City Council prepared a plan of management for the Brisbane Water estuary and a management plan for the estuarine wetlands of Brisbane Water. The plans addressed management issues relating to the estuary generally, including waterway use such as oyster farming; foreshore use such as boating, moorings and jetties; water quality; and ecological communities focussed on mangroves and coastal saltmarsh. The plans provided for the protection of mangroves and coastal saltmarsh by introducing the following actions:• Mapping the extent of mangroves and coastal saltmarsh within Brisbane Water through accurate ground truthing and negotiating with the NSW Department of Planning to amend the wetland mapping under the NSW State Environmental Planning Policy No.14 for Coastal Wetlands (SEPP14). This action strengthened the statutory protection for all mangroves and coastal saltmarsh in Brisbane Water under state planning policy.
• Reviewed the zoning under council's Local Environment Plan (LEP) to ensure that zoning accurately reflected the ecological significance of mangroves and coastal saltmarsh around the estuary.
chapter 2: management arrangements for victorian mangroves and coastal saltmarsh

• Conducted an education program involving brochures, signage and a book on mangroves in NSW and Victoria (Harty 1997).
• Undertook land acquisition of significant mangrove and coastal saltmarsh wetlands identified in the plans located on private land and at risk from development.
• Introduced rate-relief schemes to provide economic incentives for landowners with mangrove and coastal saltmarsh habitat to maintain these environments.
• Initiated a development-dedication scheme whereby development bonuses were provided to a proposal where areas of mangrove and coastal saltmarsh habitat would be protected through conservation-dedication as part of the design of the proposed development.
Together these actions provided an improved and integrated planning and management approach to protecting mangroves and coastal saltmarsh within Brisbane Water at Gosford.
Eyre Peninsula, South Australia
Work has progressed on the Eyre Peninsula of South Australia to improve the planning system for managing development impacts on mangroves and coastal saltmarsh (Figure 2.2). A new Coastal Zone Conservation Zones protocol has been developed and implemented, which is designed to protect such habitats and establish controls to address future sea-level rise. The application of the zone is supported through the strategic direction offered by the Eyre Peninsula Coastal Development Strategy. It represents a commitment by the coastal councils on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia to recognise and protect mangrove and coastal saltmarsh communities under their respective Development Plans from the adverse impacts of land use and development and coastal hazards (Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association 2007). Figure 2.2: Coastal saltmarsh and mangroves, Ceduna, South Australia.
212 mangroves and coastal saltmarsh of victoria: distribution, condition, threats and management

Jawbone Conservation Reserve, Victoria
These two non-Victorian examples of strategic planning and management have taken an overarching view and assessment of coastal saltmarsh and mangrove environments and developed a set of objectives and actions that sought to protect these environments. In Victoria a similar example of an attempt to achieve an integrated and strategic planning outcome is the development of the former Merrett Rifle Range at Williamstown and the creation of the Jawbone Conservation Reserve (Figure 2.3), which has important areas of coastal saltmarsh and an unusual occurrence in Victoria of mangroves growing on basalt rock formations (Figure 2.4).
Figure 2.3: Jawbone Reserve, Williamstown.
Figure 2.4: Avicennia marina growing on weathered basalt, Jawbone
Reserve, Williamstown.
chapter 2: management arrangements for victorian mangroves and coastal saltmarsh The mangroves and coastal saltmarsh in the area (see description by Carr et al. 1987) have been protected for over 100 years by the operation of the Merrett Rifle Range, a Commonwealth rifle range with severely limited public access. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the State Government's Urban Land Authority developed the land for housing. A major concern was how the development of the land would be planned and how the coastal saltmarsh and mangrove environments managed. A significant issue would be that the public would have easy access to the saltmarsh and mangrove environment, but that such increased accessibility would have the potential for adverse impacts on vegetation and migratory waders (Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands 1989). The planning for the residential development incorporated land-management principles to set aside conservation areas, control and direct public access and site, and design development to avoid, minimise and mitigate impacts on the wetlands. It established community support for managing the wetlands and created opportunities for education and monitoring of wetland values. How well these strategies have worked is unknown (and should be quantified), but it represents an attempt to reconcile through a strategic planning and management process conflicting objectives in the planning and management of coastal saltmarsh and mangroves. planning for sea-level rise As outlined in Chapter 1.13, mangroves and coastal saltmarsh are vulnerable to severe impacts from sea-level rise. Some of the more recognisable impacts may be landward migration and the risk of ‘coastal squeeze' whereby space for vegetation shifts are restricted by built structures such as sea walls and road embankments (Department of Climate Change 2009). Specific examples are provided later in the report, with reference to Western Port (Chapter 6.2) and the Barwon River estuary (Chapter 7). The Gippsland Coastal Board identified the need for strategic planning for impacts related to sea-level rise. It recognises that there is need for a policy that could be applied though planning schemes, via additional or alternative ‘overlays', or more detailed controls on local development. The policy would prescribe setback distances from low-lying areas and describe under what circumstances development was not permitted within the setback area. The policy would also need to set out appropriate permitted land use and development within the setback areas and give consideration to existing land uses (Gippsland Coastal Board 2008). The aim of the Gippsland Coastal Board is to be applauded, as it looks to use the policy framework now established under the Victorian Coastal Strategy 2008 which plans for the effects of sea-level rise (Harty 2008).
The use of coastal action plans under the Coastal Management Act 1995 could also support planning for sea-level rise effects on mangroves and coastal saltmarsh particularly on a regional scale because of the ability for these plans to address this issue on either a geographical basis or on an issues basis. Regional geographical based Coastal Action Plans have been developed, for example, the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Action Plan (Gippsland Coastal Board 1999) or on an issue basis such as the various Estuaries Coastal Action Plans. With the re-organisation of catchment management authorities and coastal boards, an opportunity appears possible to focus planning and management for mangroves and coastal saltmarsh environments on a regional basis for addressing impacts from climate change and/or land subsidence induced sea-level rise. In response to coastal climate change and the impacts of sea-level rise, the Victorian Government has initiated two projects: the Future Coasts Program; and a review of the VPPs to respond to coastal climate change. 214 mangroves and coastal saltmarsh of victoria: distribution, condition, threats and management
The Future Coasts Program is designed to help decision makers, the community and other partners better understand and plan for the risks associated with sea-level rise along the Victorian coast. The program is producing information about the impacts of sea-level rise along the Victorian coast, with a focus on coastal erosion and flooding. This information, along with guidance material, will be available to coastal-land managers and decision makers. A Victorian Coastal Vulnerability Assessment (VCVA) is being carried out using detailed digital elevation and bathymetric data to look at how the combined affects of sea-level rise and storms will impact Victoria's coast and help identify the areas with the greatest potential for erosion and inundation (flooding from ocean waters). This information will be used by the Future Coasts Program to develop guidelines, tools and recommendations for coastal planning and policy in Victoria. The Future Coasts Program is also supporting a number of detailed local vulnerability assessments, to examine the particular impacts of sea-level rise, changed climatic conditions, tides and storm surge on particular localities.
The Future Coasts Program, in partnership with the Municipal Association of Victoria, is developing a technical manual and a process for conducting vulnerability assessments. The manual will provide a guide for land managers and decision makers responsible for planning and managing Victoria's coasts. It will ensure that sea-level rise information is included in decisions about the coast, thereby improving consistency in the way that coastal erosion and flooding are considered in decisions about coastal areas across Victoria (Department of Sustainability and Environment 2010).
The Minister for Planning has appointed a Coastal Climate Change Advisory Committee to review the VPPs. The review is to ensure that an appropriate suite of planning tools are developed to allow planning authorities the improved ability to adequately and appropriately respond to the impacts of climate change on the coast. The Advisory Committee has released an Issues and Option paper with proposals for a new Coastal Hazard Overlay and Coastal Zone (Coastal Climate Change Advisory Committee 2010). It is envisaged that an important element in planning for sea-level rise will be the opportunity to use information generated by the Future Coasts Program to identify mangrove and coastal saltmarsh areas that could migrate inland in response to increased tidal inundation, and to apply appropriate planning provisions to enable these ecosystems to migrate landwards. The Advisory Committee review will allow planners and managers to consider what are the best planning provisions and tools required to ensure that mangroves and coastal saltmarsh habitat can be provided with the most effective level of resilience to the effects of rising seas.
In locations along the Victorian coast where mangroves and coastal saltmarsh do have the opportunity to migrate landwards in response to sea-level rise, the change in position will most likely involve movement onto private land. Migration of coastal wetlands onto privately owned land will prove challenging for management authorities in terms of making space for such migration and maintaining land-use options for migration to occur. At present the planning tools available may be to use the Public Acquisition Overlay where low-lying land located inland from mangroves and coastal saltmarsh may have to be purchased and set aside for future landward migration. Alternatively, the use of either the Rural Conservation Zone (RCZ) and/or the Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO) may be necessary to safeguard landward areas from being otherwise used or developed, and to maintain options for links with other vegetation communities to prevent the loss of future opportunity and to safeguard the future sustainability of these ecosystems. The RCZ has the benefit of helping to control land use and development to make space for mangroves and coastal saltmarsh and could be used for mangrove and coastal saltmarsh areas where it is desirable to minimise chapter 2: management arrangements for victorian mangroves and coastal saltmarsh future development in order to allow natural processes to operate freely, without pressure for protection of assets. The RCZ contains a schedule provision which can be used to specify the circumstances in which a permit is required for earthworks which change tidal flow patterns or restricts the landward migration movement of mangroves and coastal saltmarsh in response to rising sea levels.
With regards to the effective application of the ESO, reference has been made earlier on how it has been used in Bass Coast Shire. It can also be used to address issues arising from sea-level rise, through identifying areas where development should be restricted so that coastal ecosystems can adapt naturally (e.g. to ensure that structures do not impede the ability of mangroves and coastal saltmarsh to move inland as they respond to rising sea levels and higher temperatures). With respect to better addressing sea-level rise, the ESO has been used in Moyne Shire of western Victoria to apply the concept of setbacks and buffers. ESO1 – Coastal Areas and Estuaries under the Moyne Planning Scheme was introduced in late 2009 and applied over freehold land adjoining coastal Crown land along the coastal and estuarine areas of the Shire (e.g. the Great Ocean Road near Peterborough, Killarney coast between Warrnambool and Port Fairy and the estuary of Lake Yambuk and Belfast Lough near Port Fairy). The ESO1 requires that development, including infrastructure, be located away from the sea, estuaries and wetlands through the use of buffer zones. Buffer zones can assist in protecting development from sea-level rise, mitigate the impacts of development, and permit wetland vegetation to migrate landwards. The use of planning tools such as the RCZ and ESO which already exist under the VPPs to protect mangroves and coastal saltmarsh needs to be further encouraged, while additional new planning tools are being considered and developed.
Need for active management
The existing planning and management arrangements for mangroves and coastal saltmarsh in Victoria are generally vague and reactive. There is no legislation, for example, that specifically provides for the protection or proactive management of these areas. Moreover, there is little compulsion under the existing legislation that relates to mangroves and coastal saltmarsh for management to be undertaken in an appropriate or timely manner. Even so, some legislation related more broadly to the native flora and fauna of Victoria does establish a framework within which management can be undertaken; examples include management plans prepared under the National Parks Act 1975, coastal action plans and coastal management plans prepared under the Coastal Management Act 1995, and planning schemes prepared under the Planning and Environment Act 1987. It is mostly through various management plans that proactive management objectives, strategies or actions can be formulated. The effectiveness of a management plan, however, is often be limited by its scope. For example, the French Island National Park Management Plan (Parks Victoria 1998) outlined clear management strategies for conserving and protecting mangroves and coastal saltmarsh where they occurred within the boundaries of the National Park. In contrast, for those areas outside of the declared Park boundaries, the management strategies are considerably weaker. They refer to liaison with other authorities responsible for management of Western Port or the encouragement of protection of the values of the Park. Limits on the scope of management based on land tenure or administrative boundaries are inappropriate for mangroves and 216 mangroves and coastal saltmarsh of victoria: distribution, condition, threats and management
coastal saltmarsh, because of their ecotonal position between marine and terrestrial areas. Legislation, policy and management arrangements, therefore, must be integrative and proactive across the intertidal zone and its hinterland. As the regulatory system relating to native vegetation, including mangroves and coastal saltmarsh, is reactive rather than proactive, it generally responds to a proposed activity or development only after the event: the statutory planning system in Victoria reacts to proposals for land use and development and then seeks to mitigate impacts. The planning system, however, can and should be proactive in terms of the mandatory requirement under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 for planning authorities to plan for their jurisdictions and to consider impacts on the environment when preparing or amending a planning scheme. Moreover, there is the opportunity to be proactive in formulating planning policy to protect mangroves and coastal saltmarsh, and examples have been described earlier in this chapter. To overcome the above shortfalls, we recommend that the following actions should take place:• Mangroves and coastal saltmarsh should be given a more direct focus with respect to active planning and management in legislation, via either new legislation or amendments to existing legislation.
• Prepare and/or update coastal or estuary policies/strategies to specifically refer to the protection and appropriate active management of mangroves and coastal saltmarsh.
• Incorporate specific planning policy to protect mangroves and coastal saltmarsh under statutory planning • Use the strategic planning process to develop clear policy directions for mangroves and coastal saltmarsh, and which includes the estuary and catchment as combined ecological units, so that processes that influence intertidal wetlands are better understood and actions are more closely defined. • Improve the integration of action by authorities that manage mangroves and coastal saltmarsh on public and private land to improve management across land tenure and administrative boundaries.
• Develop education and support programs, including the provision of appropriate expertise for landowners who have mangrove and coastal saltmarsh on their properties, to assist in the appropriate management of these coastal areas. chapter 2: management arrangements for victorian mangroves and coastal saltmarsh 218 mangroves and coastal saltmarsh of victoria: distribution, condition, threats and management

Source: http://www.ozcoasts.gov.au/geom_geol/vic/SaltmarshCh2FinalLowRes.pdf


2014-2015 UNIVERSITY PROGRAM COUNCIL CUB Auburn University Comprehensive Guidebook & Manual University Program Council 255 Heisman Dr, 3130 AU Student Center Auburn University, AL 36849 Phone: (334) 844-4788 Fax: (334) 844-5365 UPC Contact: [email protected] Table of Contents Chapter 1: Contacts Films Contacts . 2 Fine Arts . 3 Major Entertainment Contacts . 4 Public Relations Contacts . 4 Publicity Contacts . 4 Speakers and Comedians Contacts . 5 Special Projects Contacts . 5 Technical Productions Contacts . 6 Tiger Nights Contacts . 7 Volunteers Contacts . 8 Chapter 2: Guidelines, Notes, and Samples Advisors and Executive Officers' Notes . 10 Films . 12 Fine Arts . 17 Major Entertainment . 20 Public Relations . 22 Publicity . 23 Research and Evaluation . 25 Speakers and Comedians . 30 Special Projects . 31 Technical Productions . 33 Tiger Nights . 35 Volunteers . 36 Appendix (see attachment links on AU Involve) Style Guides Sodexo Catering Guide Approved Vendors List


Internet Symposium on Food Allergens 4(1):2002 Allergen Data Collection - Update: Cow's Milk (Bos domesticus) . Authors in alphabetical order [contact information] Matthias BESLER (Hamburg, Germany) Philippe EIGENMANN (Genève, Switzerland) Robert H. SCHWARTZ (Rochester, NY, USA)