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Sustainable Coastal Development

As an island, Australia is blessed with many coastal communities. Many coastal areas are struggling with economic, environmental and social change, often brought about by ‘sea changers’ and tourism.

You need to know how to pursue a comprehensive, balanced, approach to managing growth and conservation.

The challenges to paradise

You might be living in paradise, but there are immediate and long term threats to address: young people need meaningful education and employment opportunities that will keep them in town, or encourage them to return; increasing populations and visitor numbers put pressure on infrastructure and threaten the fragile environmental balance; seasonal fluctuations erode business and employment growth; traditional fishing and agriculture industries face an existential challenge.

Coastal futures require a common vision and a commitment to sustainable development that preserve, yet build on local assets and values.

Tools and resources

Some of the common tools and guidance required by coastal economies include:

  • Identify your comparative advantages (national and international)
  • Formulate a shared vision for the future
  • Find synergies in tourism and agriculture and related industries
  • Support local innovation and start-ups in the global digital economy
  • Promote participation and citizen engagement
  • Identify your strategic competencies
  • Assess the threats to your economic, social and environmental sustainability (Sustainability Indicators)
  • Identify local firm clusters
  • Assess the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • Adopt progressive procurement processes