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Proposed amendments to Coastal Management Act published for comment by 31 Jan 2012

7 December 2011 at 11:11 am

Photo: Chris Galliers, WESSA

The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs has published a draft National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Amendment Bill for public comment. The proposed amendments highlighted below will have a number of significant implications, and we urge all practitioners, experts and affected parties to have a look and submit comments where necessary (including comments of support for positive changes).

According to the Preamble to the Bill, it hopes to:

  • amend certain definitions;
  • clarify coastal public property and the ownership of structures erected on and in coastal public property;
  • remove the power to exclude areas from coastal public property;
  • simplify and amend powers relating to coastal leases;
  • extend the powers of MECs to issue coastal protection notices and coastal access notices;
  • limit the renewal of dumping permits;
  • amend the composition of the National Coastal Committee;
  • clarify the powers of delegation by MECs;
  • revise offences and increase penalties;
  • improve authorisation processes;
  • provide for exemptions (see the proposed s.94A(1): “The Minister may in writing exempt any person or group of persons or organ of state from a provision of this Act if, in the opinion of the Minister, there are sound reasons for doing so”);
  • provide for transitional matters;
  • to effect certain textual alterations.

Download the Bill here. The deadline for comments is 31 January 2012, which can be sent to [email protected] (other contact details in the Bill itself).