Protecting Heritage on Australia's Coasts: A Role for Strategic Environmental Assessment?

Simon Marsden

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    This article examines two experiences with strategic environmental assessment (SEA) in Australia, one complete the other in progress. The first applied SEA to a plan for a liquefied natural gas hub precinct on the National Heritage listed Kimberley coast of Western Australia, and the second applies SEA to a coastal management, planning and development framework for the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef on the coast of Queensland. Both cases illustrate the approach of the Australian governments to SEA, highlighting the benefits of the approach yet certain flaws in application and process. The research consists of an extensive evaluation of the relevant legislation, its application and reform, together with a thorough literature review. Results highlight concerns in relation to the objective of SEA in Australia, its initiation and timing, consideration of alternatives, and governance. Conclusions are that SEA in Australia will be enhanced if the purpose is more explicitly focused on environmental protection, if SEA is applied early to a reasonable range of alternative sites, and if the Australian Government continues to play an active role in relation to matters of national environmental significance.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1350014
    Pages (from-to)1350014
    Number of pages21
    JournalJournal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013


    • Australia
    • Great Barrier Reef
    • Kimberley
    • national heritage
    • Strategic environmental assessment
    • world heritage


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