Managing Coastal Hazards
As a public land manager, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas) faces ongoing decisions regarding issues on coastal land due to the increasing risks from a range of coastal hazards including storm surge, erosion and inundation.
NRE Tas will continue to review and where appropriate update its approach to the management of coastal land as knowledge of climate change impacts improves and in accordance with any future Tasmanian coastal policy and legislation.
The Crown is bound by the current State Coastal Policy 1996, which in relation to coastal processes and hazards, states that:
1.4.1. Areas subject to significant risk from natural coastal processes and hazards such as flooding, storms, erosion, landslip, littoral drift, dune mobility and sea-level rise will be identified and managed to minimise the need for engineering or remediation works to protect land, property and human life.
1.4.2 Development on actively mobile landforms such as frontal dunes will not be permitted except for works consistent with Outcome 1.4.1.
NRE Tas has adopted the following principles to:
- communicate its approach and responsibilities to the management of coastal land; and
- underpin its land-use planning and decision-making in coastal risk areas:
- Coastal processes and hazards such as flooding, storms, erosion, landslip, littoral drift, dune mobility and sea-level rise are natural processes and the risks to properties from these processes appropriately rest with the property owners, whether they be public or private.
- Under both statute and common law, the Crown does not have, nor does it accept, specific future obligations to repair or reduce the impacts of natural coastal hazards on private property.
- Unless otherwise agreed, the Crown does not accept obligations to repair or reduce the impacts of natural coastal hazards on any non-Government owned or managed assets sited on public land.
- NRE Tas will use an open, evidence-based, risk-based approach to land use planning and decision making in coastal hazard areas and will consider both the short and longer-term consequences of planning and land use decisions.
- Best practice coastal protection works can reduce the risk of coastal hazards, however coastal defences and other physical interventions with the coastline that are not informed by appropriate and relevant professional expertise, can have expensive and unforeseen consequences (potentially shifting, exacerbating or not resolving coastal hazard issues in the longer-term).
- On land that NRE Tas manages in coastal hazard areas, NRE Tas will generally avoid intensifying use or development, and will progressively reduce vulnerable infrastructure as resources permit.
- NRE Tas will work with other organisations and agencies in assisting the development of whole-of government strategies to deal with ongoing and changing or developing coastal processes and hazards.
- NRE Tas will support individuals and organisations to understand risks from coastal processes and hazards through the provision of information and advice.
For further information on undertaking work on Crown land please see the following NRE Tas Property Services page.