The Australian Coastal Councils Association Inc. was established in 2004 and is a national body formed to represent the interests of coastal councils. The organisation was originally known as the National Sea Change Taskforce. In 2015 the members of the organisation voted to change its name to the Australian Coastal Councils Association Inc. to better reflect its current role and activities.
It was recognised at an early stage that an advocacy campaign needs to be supported by credible research. In 2005 the organisation commissioned the first stage in an on-going research project conducted by the Planning Research Centre at The University of Sydney. The study was aimed at identifying the facing coastal communities.
Later stages of research identified of local and regional planning for coastal communities and for responding to the impact of climate change on coastal communities. A further research study involved a in planning for climate change adaptation in Australia and internationally. The study found that Coastal communities, particularly those beyond Australia’s capital cities, are at the frontline of impending climate change impacts.
Another groundbreaking research study, into the populations on coastal communities, was commissioned through The University of Adelaide. The findings of the study highlighted the fluctuations in coastal populations at different times of the year, which have the effect of disadvantaging coastal councils in the allocation of resources under the formulae for calculating Financial Assistance Grants.
A study commissioned through Curtin University in Western Australia, was aimed at developing strategies to help coastal councils to retain values and character of coastal communities, something that is of great concern to coastal communities. The organisation also commissioned a report on the legal risks relating to climate change impacts through a legal firm specialising in environmental and planning matters.
The most recent research initiative by the Association was a collaborative research project aimed at identifying how councils can respond effectively to the on short-term holiday rental platforms. The study was conducted by a research team at the University of Sydney. It focused on responses available to councils through their planning framework, rating regime, licensing, and complaints mechanisms.