A NSW Government website - NSW Marine Estate

Agencies managing the marine estate

Published 21 October 2021

Four NSW government agencies have key responsibilities for managing the marine estate and providing advice to the NSW Government. All four agencies are members of the Marine Estate Management Authority. These agencies sit within three larger departments.

These four agencies have a wide range of responsibilities but those that relate specifically to the marine estate include:

Department of Regional NSW (DRNSW)

  • NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is responsible for fisheries and aquaculture management, marine biodiversity, marine protected areas, biosecurity, marine estate research, fisheries compliance, marine estate communications and community engagement, and working with landholders to protect and rehabilitate waterways.

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE)

  • Environment, Energy and Science (EES) is responsible for supporting councils and communities in coastal management, protecting and managing estuaries, the national park system, marine mammals, birds and reptiles, and contributes to marine estate research and education.
  • Planning and Assessment (P&A) is responsible for the state's land use planning system and delivering state significant developments and infrastructure.

Transport for NSW is responsible for strategic maritime policy, including safety, sustainability, access and infrastructure matters as well as maritime safety regulation and on-water compliance activities.

Related agencies and local government also have marine estate responsibilities and these include:

Department of Regional NSW

  • Local Land Services work with landholders to help protect and rehabilitate waterways, wetlands and riverbank vegetation.

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

  • DPIE Water is responsible for surface and groundwater management including ensuring water security for NSW.
  • DPIE Crown Land is responsible for managing Crown land within the NSW marine estate, this includes the bed of many of the state’s waterways and estuaries, public foreshores and beach reserves.
  • NSW Environment Protection Authority partners with business, government and the community to reduce pollution and waste, protect human health, and prevent degradation of the environment.
  • Natural Resources Access Regulator is an independent and transparent water regulator with responsibility for the compliance and enforcement of water laws in NSW.

Department of Premier and Cabinet

  • Heritage NSW protects and manages Aboriginal cultural heritage and maritime heritage.

Local councils along the NSW coast have a key role in planning, delivering a range of services to coastal communities, and developing and implementing Coastal Management Programs.