Borough launches coast and marine management plan

December 2, 2021 BY

The Borough of Queenscliffe is seeking community feedback on its Coastal and Marine Management Plan draft. Photo: Bellarine Bayside

COMMUNITY feedback is being sought on a draft roadmap which outlines strategies for the future protection of the borough’s precious coastlines.

The Borough of Queenscliffe has released a draft Coastal and Marine Management Plan outlining how it will manage the area’s coastal landscapes into the future.

Developed from ideas submitted by more than 270 community consultation participants, the council decided that by considering its entire coastline, as opposed to a series of isolated locations in a single strategy, it would be able to balance the way it maintains infrastructure and tackles challenges such as coastal erosion and
climate change.

Queenscliffe mayor Ross Ebbels said the plan aimed to help the borough care for its special but fragile coastlines.

“We know our residents love the borough’s coasts, so we’re creating a long-term plan for how we’ll care for them together,” Cr Ebbels said.

“Our draft Coastal and Marine Management Plan will help us streamline our processes to ensure maintenance and improvement works happen where they’re most needed, protecting our coasts for future generations.”

The newly proposed draft builds upon the previous work completed by the borough’s council and ideas frequently suggested by borough residents.

Features of the new plan include a pathway strategy, with consultation respondents highlighting walking and exercise as some of the most common reasons they visit the borough’s coasts.

Founder and president of the Queenscliffe Climate Action Group (QCAG) Kitty Walker said community feedback will determine what the borough’s coastline will look like in the future and she is hoping many residents make their voices heard.

“We’d really encourage community members to comment on the draft of the borough’s draft Coastal and Marine Management Plan,” Ms Walker said.

“It’s an important strategy that should guide how we deal with issues of erosion, inundation and sea-level rise in the face of increasing, local impacts of climate change.”

Other suggestions featured in the plan include greater recognition of Wadawurrung and borough heritage, auditing and preparing design standards for beach signage and infrastructure, and tailoring land management strategies on a precinct basis to respond to what residents most value about different coastal areas.

“We were able to incorporate a huge number of community ideas into our strategic planning, and we’d like to know what residents think of the draft plan,” Cr Ebbels said.

“I’d strongly encourage anyone who loves the borough’s coasts to read the draft and share your thoughts.”

Feedback from residents and ratepayers is being accepted in writing before 11.59pm on December 19, 2021.

All residents and taxpayers are invited to read the draft at www.queenscliffe.vic.gov.au/coasts and submit feedback to [email protected] or 50 Learmonth Street, Queenscliff.