He says the tribunal made it clear there was consensus that climate change would result in extreme weather conditions, and that there was an "intergenerational liability" to avoid permitting developments which put lives and property at risk from inundation in the future.
The State Government plans to release a report early next year mapping anticipated rising sea levels as a consequence of climate change.
Mr Newton-Brown warns that once this report is released, there will be even stronger reasons for councils and VCAT to resist new coastal developments.
"Liability for homeowners requiring a boat to go shopping may be just one of the concerns," he says.
It may be, he says, that in the future only marina-style coastal developments will be possible on low-lying coastal land, with canals that can be manufactured and managed.