The Marine and Coastal Act 2018 provides a simpler, more integrated and coordinated approach to planning and managing the marine and coastal environment by:

  • enabling protection of the coastline and the ability to address the long-term challenges of climate change, population growth and ageing coastal structures
  • ensuring that partners work together to achieve the best outcomes for Victoria’s marine and coastal environment.

Marine and Coastal Act fact sheet (PDF, 334.7 KB)

Victoria's Marine and Coastal Reforms Final Transition Plan (PDF, 7.9 MB)

The Act is complemented by Victoria's Marine and Coastal Reforms Final Transition Plan (the plan), a document identifying a program of policy reforms and on-the-ground actions, many already underway, to transition to the new system over the coming years. The plan reflects the directions of the Act and responds to recommendations made in the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office report, Protecting Victoria’s Coastal Assets, released in March 2018.

The plan lists 45 actions to be delivered between 2018 and 2022. The statewide Marine and Coastal Policy, including the Marine Spatial Planning Framework, and the statewide Marine and Coastal Strategy comprise key actions in the plan.

On 1 August 2018, the inaugural Marine and Coastal Council was appointed under the Marine and Coastal Act 2018. The council will be chaired by Dr Anthony Boxshall and has been appointed for a three year term. The seven members with expertise related to the functions set out in section 16 of the Act are:

  • Dr Anthony Boxshall (Chair)
  • Dr Ian Knuckey
  • Ms Jennifer Fraser
  • Ms Jacquie White
  • Ms Anna Grage
  • Dr John Sherwood
  • Professor Alistar Robertson

The Victorian Government, with guidance of the Victorian Marine and Coastal Council, has developed a new statewide Marine and Coastal Policy (the Policy). The Policy guides decision makers in the planning, management and sustainable use of our coastal and marine environment. It provides direction to decision makers including local councils and land managers on a range of issues such as dealing with the impacts of climate change, population growth and ageing coastal structures.

The Policy includes a Marine Spatial Planning Framework (MSP Framework) which guides long term planning and management of Victoria's marine environment in an integrated and coordinated way.

The Policy came into operation in March 2020, superseding the ‘policy for decision making’ parts of the Victorian Coastal Strategy (VCS) 2014.  The “actions” in the VCS 2014 will remain valid until such time as a Marine and Coastal Strategy is made

For any specific queries, please email


The Marine and Coastal Act Consultation Paper (PDF, 4.1 MB) was developed with the  guidance of an Expert Panel and released in 2016. It outlined objectives and a series of proposed improvements to Victoria's coastal and marine management system. Input and ideas from the community were sought during the consultation period, and a total of 115 submissions were received from a wide range of stakeholders.

The submissions are in the following documents:

The feedback received has helped inform the development of the new Act and important changes to how we look after our marine and coastal environment.

A Consultation Summary (PDF, 448.8 KB) report was developed to provide an overview of the feedback received.

A proposed Transition Plan 'Strengthening Victoria's Marine and Coastal Management (PDF, 2.4 MB)' was then developed to accompany the introduction of the Marine and Coastal Bill 2017. The proposed plan was released in December 2017 and identified a program of complementary policy reforms and on ground actions to transition to the new system over the coming years.

Page last updated: 06/08/21