Caring for our coasts

The Australian Government is committed to working with local communities to address the challenges of coastal growth and climate change.

The Australian Government’s Caring for our Coasts policy includes:

  • $25 million over five years to help coastal communities prepare and adapt to the impacts of climate change including through initiatives such as the National Coastal Risk Assessment
  • consultation with coastal councils, coastal Natural Resource Management (NRM) groups, capital city mayors, academics, community groups and state and territory governments to develop a blueprint for coastal cities and towns to meet current and future climate challenges
  • updating and improving the Australian Disaster Mitigation Package to take into account severe weather and storms due to climate change
  • $100 million for a five year, Community Coast Care Program to better protect our precious coastal environment, and
  • $200 million in a five year Great Barrier Reef Rescue Plan to help secure the Reef from climate change and declining water quality.

Why we need it

Our coasts are facing major challenges from climate change, catchment degradation and rapid population growth and it is clear there is a need for greater cooperation to tackle these challenges.

All jurisdictions have some responsibility for protecting Australia’s long and diverse coastline, and coastal regions from the impacts of population growth, inappropriate development and climate change.

The National Sea Change Taskforce—made up of coastal councils from around the country—has recommended the development of a collaborative, national approach between all levels of government to:

  • manage population growth in non-metropolitan coastal Australia
  • enhance existing sources of funding for local government to include a specific coastal focus
  • better coordinate regulatory and investment decisions.