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The First Step for the Environmental Management of Australian Beaches: Establishing an Effective Policy Framework

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Beach management and coastal management are interwoven and scale-dependent activities in Australia. Present coastal policies are broad and designed for large, national, and statewide scales. They specify ecologically sustainable development as the overarching goal for coastal management and provide the context for beach management. On smaller scales, an approach focusing on the reduction of geomorphic hazards as the basis of beach management was established by the Coastline Hazard Policy, with nonhazard aspects of beach management such as ecological, economic, and social concerns assuming secondary importance. Although beach management can occur effectively under these coastal management arrangements, better guidance is required to make this process as effective and efficient as possible. This guidance - the policy framework - could be better developed for beach management and better integrated with existing coastal management arrangements. While this policy development is not strictly necessary to achieve positive outcomes from beach management, it is necessary to effectively guide implementation of the existing broad coastal policies. Effective goals for beach management are yet to be thought out and clearly articulated in Australia. A good start would be to couple the present goals of ecologically sustainable development and hazards reduction into a coherent goal for beach management. A specific policy for beaches should be developed given the importance of beaches in Australia.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2000-04-01

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