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Australian Coastal Society Newsletter.

Australian Coastal Society Members Newsletter

Summer 2011/12


Chair’s Report


The second half of 2011 has been one of considerable activity by ACS. I am delighted with the establishment of State chapters. It is very pleasing to see the work being done by members of ACS in each state. We have so much to do. In some ways the degree of activity in coastal management at state and local levels is overwhelming. ACS needs active state members who are prepared to assist each of the state convenors put together information and prioritize actions. It is also up to each state chapter to help share information and to reinforce those who see the need for improved CZM but find it difficult to be outspoken because of job commitments. If we are to be “the voice of the coast”, then there should be those in each state who can speak openly on behalf of ACS.
 
Coastal conferences have proven to be very helpful in exchanging ideas, meeting new members of ACS and encouraging all coastal “friends” to be alert to actions that may permanently damage coastal resources, amenities and lifestyles. I have been fortunate this year to travel at least once to most states. Common themes emerge: failure of local and state governments to implement exiting policies where they exist; the need to update and clarify the plethora of guidelines and policies using statutory instruments where appropriate; continued pressure of developers and also legal firms to protect property rights; how to manage the coast in the face of uncertainties of climate change including the continued desire of decision-makers to place people and infrastructure in “harm’s way”; and the strong desire to ensure sustainable use of natural resources. At both Queensland and NSW conferences this year these and other topics were discussed. It was great to see Gen Y as well as Gen X and the “oldies” offering papers, and the passion of younger generations to provide “solutions” was most heartening.
 
At the federal level it has been my privilege to serve as Chair of the Coasts and Climate Change Council. Minister Greg Combet has encouraged communication of issues arising from the 2009 House of Representatives report. In several talks I have been able to outline these matters and seek advice, including at the ACS workshop held prior to the NSW conference. Comments provided at the workshop were kindly summarised by Tom Fitzgerald and are now to be found on the ACS web site.
 
We are all indebted to Mel Bradbury for her service to ACS and the broader coastal community as our communications officer. She does a magnificent job in keeping us all informed and facilitating discussion. Now we have expanded our range of social media into Facebook and Twitter we feel we can reach further into the ether world with messages on our coast. In 2012 we hope this service will expand.
 
I would also like to thank all members on the ACS Executive for their support to the Society. I believe we work as a great team and as Chair I appreciate their continued involvement.
 
All the very best to our members for 2012, Bruce Thom

Queensland Branch Update

Our Qld branch has been having a very active time lately with much correspondence and growth of the branch. A major highlight was the very successful Qld Coastal Conference in Cairns during October. ACS members were heavily involved in the planning of the conference. We were highly visible throughout the conference and had a lot of interest at our stand. Thirty-five new members joined ACS at the conference stretching our coverage of the state from the Gold Coast to the Gulf Coast. Some of our new members have already brought some great ideas to our attention and I am sure you will see more of us in 2012. Check out all the latest information about the Queensland ACS Branch on the ACS website.

NSW Branch Update

The NSW branch has been busy over the last few months in hosting workshops, participating in conferences, preparing submissions, and membership recruitment.  ACS hosted a workshop prior to the very well attended and NSW Coastal Conference at Tweed Heads in November that tackled Federal Government leadership in coastal management.  Piggybacking on the success of our participation in the Queensland coastal conference, ACS NSW branch were a prominent presence in Tweed Heads.  We’ve also set up a steering committee to direct our focus and activities in NSW too which you’ll hear more about in the new year.  Check out all the latest info on the activities of the NSW branch of ACS here.  Happy beach going over the Xmas holidays!

SA Branch Update

Image by Corey Jackson
(Above photo: Credit Corey Jackson)
The SA chapter has had several smaller member group meetings in the latter half of 2011 and it’s been great to have a few more passionate bods on deck! Our focal issue has been the Kangaroo Island Pro Surf contest, which was held in early November.
 
The KI Pro Surf contest was the subject of concern for numerous environmental groups and local community members due to its location in Vivonne Bay and potential impacts from an expected 3000-5000 spectators. In 2009, a Department of Environment and Heritage coastal assessment established Vivonne Bay to be significant biodiversity terms, with a large number of threatened fauna and flora present.
 
Prior to the event, the ACS worked closely with groups such as Surfrider Foundation (SA chapter) to gather background information, identify key issues and determine our position. From numerous accounts, feedback provided from concerned groups to organisers, Surfing SA, had been taken on board and the event was well-managed - with far less impact on the coastal environment than surf contests with 100 spectators.
 
The ACS is in the process of writing a higher-level letter to ministers commending the management of the event and highlighting strategic issues for future surfing events in near-pristine areas of the state, such as processes for preliminary consultation and event planning, and ensuring development applications for surf contests are considered in a coordinated and holistic manner. The letter will be made available on the ACS website once finalised.
 
The SA chapter plans to meet late January/early February 2012 and encourages our local members to get involved. For further information please contact chapter chair Claire Lock sa@australiancoastalsociety.org.au

Check out the latest on the SA chapter online here.

Victoria Branch Update

Our Victorian ACS members have been drumming up extra business with an article promoting ACS in the summer 2011/2012 edition of the Coastcare Victoria Newsletter - Coastline (edition 58). The newsletter is distributed to coastal volunteers and other coastal people across Victoria.

The Victorian Chapter is in the process of planning for the election of office bearers and our first member meeting in the new year. To register your interest contact vic@australiancoastalsociety.
org
 
In other Victorian coastal news....Moyne Shire Council, and partners, is embarking on a number projects to further investigate the coastal flooding and erosion risk to Port Fairy township. Tenders for the Projects were recently advertised in the press. Also, Deakin University recently held a Coastal Cluster Forum at their Warrnambool Campus.  Coastal experts convened to discuss how information and science is accessed and used in coastal management practice.

Tasmania Branch Update

ACS Tas has had a great end to the year with successful involvements in Coastcare Week celebrations and a new coastal alliance. Coastcare week was celebrated with many fun and diverse activities and events across Tasmania, with the largest of these being 'Coastal Conversations 2011'. This event brought together ACS Tas, NRM South, the Southern Coastcare Association of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Coastal Alliance to host a regional celebration for coastal stakeholders with local guest speakers, drinks and nibbles, followed by a public lecture with Professors Bruce Thom and Jan McDonald. Bruce and Jan both had the audience captivated with their highly relevant and informative presentations. Bruce spoke on ‘Challenges to Coastal Management – a national perspective’ and Jan on  ‘Legal liability issues for coastal climate change impacts’. The event was supported by approximately 190 coastal community members. Many thanks to our ACS President for his involvement in this great event.

The Australian Coastal Society has also recently joined the Tasmanian Coastal Alliance (TasCA) - an alliance of NGOs and professionals with relevant expertise in coastal matters, established to provide a focus for the community and stakeholder NGOs’ responses following the Tasmanian Planning Commission’s rejection of the draft Tasmanian State Coastal Policy 2008.  TasCA's brings together ACS Tas, Birds Tasmania, the Environmental Defenders Office (Tas), and Environment Tasmania to pursue the goal of a clear, enforceable and evidence-based integrated coastal planning and management system for Tasmanian. ACS Tas is helping to promote this outcome and provide information to support this goal.

See the ACS Tas Branch online

ACS Membership

It's official, young women "like" ACS

Site statistics from the ACS Facebook page show the page is "liked" predominantly by women in the 25-34 yr old age bracket.

Not an ACS member???

If you are not a current member of ACS and would like to become one so that you can receive this newsletter and other membership benefits in the future, click the button above to go to download ACS membership form. Annual membership fees are as follows:
  • Individual – $25
  • Affiliate – $100
  • Student – Free
Members receive regular newsletters, can participate in the ACS discussion group and become involved with local issues through the relevant State chapter.  The society is also looking at implementing professional development programs for members.  ACS also regularly advertises coastal jobs, conferences and other professional development opportunities to its members.
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