7 December 2011 at 11:11 am
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.