April 2009 Comments – The First Ten Years Are The Worst

CCAG was created ten years ago today. It grew out of the deep frustration and fear within the community.

Frustration because Government’s attitude and approach to the management of our coast seemed to be devoid of any common sense or understanding.

Fear because the prospects for individuals and the community were extremely worrying. Everyone felt they had no voice and were being abandoned out of hand.

Over those ten years some things have changed, some have not. To a lesser extent fear still plays a part in some people’s lives here. However frustration has been reduced because we know we have played a significant role in beginning to change Governments attitude and approach to coast management.

We have become increasingly proactive in seeking change that will benefit all coastal communities not just our own.

It has been our fervent desire to be a leading part of the solution rather than a leading part of the problem. To that end we have worked extremely hard to understand the problems and difficulties all levels of Government face when attempting to manage the coast.

We have been, and remain, committed to fostering a wider understanding by all involved of each others problems and feel very strongly that we must continue the effort and build on the achievements of the last ten years.

Climate change and sea level rise will undoubtedly test our collective resolve as we move through this century. Of paramount importance will be our ability, with adequate institutional arrangements, to manage our way through.

CCAG is committed absolutely to working with everyone involved irrespective of political party or level of authority to achieve a socially just coastal philosophy and policy which we can all ‘buy in to’.

Malcolm Kerby (08 April 2009)