Cover photograph: Coastline, northern TasmaniaCourtesy and Copyright of the Photographer: Linda Kythe Nix
This book is a comprehensive guide to Australian coastal and marine law. Since the landmark enactment of the Seas and Submerged Lands Act 1973 (Cth), and the subsequent High Court decision in NSW v Commonwealth, there have been rapid developments in Australian coastal and marine law and policy. The Offshore Constitutional Settlement paved the way for offshore management between the Commonwealth, States and the Northern Territory, and from this foundation a raft of new environmental laws were adopted in the 1980s and 1990s, often promoted by international developments such as the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or through new marine pollution conventions adopted by the International Maritime Organisation.
In the last decade as a result of the increased profile associated with concerns over climate change, whaling, and major maritime incidents such as the Pasha Bulker (2007), Pacific Adventurer (2009), the Montara oil platform spill (2009), and Shen Neng I (2010) there has been greater environmental consciousness and concern about the need to have a comprehensive legal framework in place to deal with these issues.
The book particularly reflects upon how Australian law regulates and manages a range of environmental issues which arise in the coastal zone and the marine environment. The Australian maritime domain is the focus of analysis, including all areas within State and Territorial jurisdiction, and areas within Commonwealth control and regulation. Activities that are subject to specific consideration include the continental shelf, fishing, indigenous rights, marine parks, marine pollution, ports and harbours, and shipping.