Presented by: Rory O’Brien
Review written by: Rory O’Brien

519.King George Sound Book Cover 3

The Speaker has often been asked the question, “Why do we need specialised Planning and Management of the coast?”

There are three major reasons:

1. The coast is potentially unstable landform even in its natural state.
2. The coast is a highly desirable habitat for people especially in Australia with its harsh  interior climate.  Eighty five percent of the Australian population lives in coastal cities and six million Australians live within 3 kilometres of the coast.
3. There is increasing competition between industry, mining, farming, residential, recreation and fishing for land uses along the coast.

The sum total of people pressures leads to degradation of coastal landscapes and coastal waters.  Evidence from elsewhere in the world suggests that unless such land uses are regulated and natural processes are conserved, the coast will become an ugly part of our environment.

All is not doom and gloom.  Through wise land use and resource management mistakes of the past can be corrected and an improved system can be ensured.

The coastal practitioner needs to understand coastal processes in order to make good decisions for the future.  Wind, waves, tides, climate, sand, rocks, vegetation and interactions between them need to be understood.  Places of stability and instability can guide location of land uses and good decision making.

The coast is also a major drawcard for tourism from overseas.  Our coast and beach resources, once used as a dumping ground, are now widely regarded as “international tourist destinations.”

Through the use of photographs, the speaker illustrated some of the good and bad things that occurred on the Western Australian coast.