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Governance Responses to Rapid Growth in Environmentally Sensitive Areas of Coastal Australia

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The twin forces of rising affluence and population are altering coastal communities around the world. High amenity, environmentally sensitive areas - particularly attractive, non-metropolitan coastal environments - are witnessing a tidal wave of in migration from former urbanites. As a result, these communities are struggling to accommodate growing numbers of people with urban tastes and rural dreams in areas with governance structures and physical infrastructure designed for occasional tourists. This article looks at how governance frameworks in coastal Australia respond to the profound environmental, social, and cultural implications of this process. We offer a typology of non-metropolitan coastal growth settings - from exurban contexts to isolated coastal hamlets - and identify the main environmental, social, economic, and governance issues they face. We then outline the policy and legislative framework governing coastal areas in Australia and show how this framework is interpreted at the local level through an analysis of five local plans covering different coastal settings.

Keywords: amenity migration-coast environments; coastal governance; planning

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Urban and Regional Planning Program, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Publication date: July 1, 2007

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