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Resource Assessment Commission Coastal Zone Inquiry - Final Report November 1993

Resource Assessment Commission, November 1993
ISBN 0 64429457


Coastal Zone Inquiry
Resource Assessment Commission
Locked Bag No. 1
Queen Victoria Terrace
Canberra ACT 2600

PO Box 735
Kings Cross NSW 2011
Telephone (02) 331 1303
Facsimile (02) 361 3788

11 November 1993

Prime Minister
Parliament House

Dear Prime Minister

In accordance with the terms of reference provided on 10 October 1991, pursuant to section 16 of the Resource Assessment Commission Act 1989, I forward herewith the report of the Commission's inquiry into the management and use of Australia's coastal zone resources.

The views of special Commissioners Greg McColl and Alan Oxley and I are set out at pages 1 to 517. Special Commissioner Bob Graham's views are set out from page 519.

Yours sincerely
Mr Justice Stewart

This report presents the results of the Resource Assessment Commission's inquiry into the management and use of the resources of Australia's coastal zone. The Inquiry is the most comprehensive investigation undertaken into this matter and its conclusions and recommendations are of great importance to all Australians.

The Coastal Zone Inquiry began, following the appointment of special Commissioners, in February 1992. Its progress was marked by a number of stages, with public participation and the direct involvement of major interested parties, or 'stakeholders', emphasised throughout.

In April 1992 the Inquiry released a background paper to encourage public interest and participation and containing a preliminary assessment of the key issues identified by the Inquiry. Initial consultations with interested parties followed, and submissions were invited from all quarters. Public hearings were held at locations around the country, in regional coastal centres as well as capital cities.

The Inquiry published a draft report in February 1993, setting out interim conclusions reached after that first stage of its investigation. The draft report also provided details of an extensive work program being undertaken in cooperation with local government, and state and Commonwealth agencies and sought the views of all interested parties on the interim conclusions reached.

After completion of that work program and further consultation with all spheres of government, industry, community and conservation groups, and representatives of indigenous interests, in August 1993 the Inquiry issued a discussion paper containing its draft conclusions and recommendations.

The paper outlined the elements of the Inquiry's proposed National Coastal Action Program to ensure the integrated management of the coastal zone. It also provided a further opportunity for comment on what the Inquiry was proposing and formed the basis for a final round of consultations with stakeholders. Those consultations and the completion of further work helped the Inquiry to develop its final conclusions and recommendations, many of which have been substantially amended as a result.

This final report, of necessity, examines a number of technical issues in some depth. With its focus on integrated coastal zone management arrangements, it provides more detail than will be required by many readers. As a result, the Inquiry has had prepared a short summary document-an overview-which has been published separately from this main report. Copies of the overview have been widely distributed, including to all those on the Inquiry's mailing list.

To all who participated in the various stages of this Inquiry and to the staff who so ably supported its work, the Commission expresses its gratitude.