Wetlands Australia Journal, Vol 14, No 2 (1995)

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SEPP 14 - wetlands protection and the role of mitigation

Rex Bowen, Naomi Stephens, Paul Donnelly


State Environmental Planning Policy No14 - Coastal Wetlands (SEPP 14) was introduced in 1985 to protect coastal wetlands in the environmental and economic interested of the State. The Policy required the preparation of an EIS, the consent of local council and the concurrence of the Director of Planning for development in affected wetlands. Many developments do not proceed to the stage of development application because of the requirements of the Policy thus ensuring their protection. Development Applications are refused when the proposal involves the irrevocable destruction of large areas of wetland. In cases where development proceeds, concurrence is generally granted subject to a number of conditions specific to the site. Proposals are more likely to succeed if they include offsetting damage to wetlands by restoration or other mitigation measures. In this way, SEPP 14 has attempted to ensure that developments in wetlands have little impact on wetland values. Establishment of compensatory wetland at Balling following the construction of a second river crossing in a SEPP 14 wetland is presented as a case study.

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