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Report of the Ministerial Advisory Group on Australia's oceans policy - an issues paper

July 1998

Commonwealth of Australia

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Because the document Australia’s Oceans Policy - An Issues Paper was developed in parallel with the March 1998 Report of the Ministerial Advisory Group on Oceans Policy (MAGOP), the Group met on 18 June to review the Issues Paper in the light of the MAGOP Report. Objectives of the meeting were to:

This brief report describes the outcomes of that meeting. As noted in our March 1998 Report, the Advisory Group was chosen to represent sectoral views, and as a result there was not always agreement or commonality of views. This Report notes the divergence of members’ views on issues where general agreement was not forthcoming.

Overall the Group considered the Issues Paper to be comprehensive in its coverage and were generally in agreement with many of the policy directions described, apart from institutional arrangements. No major gaps were identified, nor were there any particular areas considered to benefit from substantial expansion. Some additional actions, and rewording of some of the actions in the Issues Paper were identified. The Group considered it important that the actions be written to identify agencies responsible and general timelines to facilitate auditing of the final Policy. Most concerns with the Issues Paper were of a detailed nature. In a number of instances the Group considered presentation of issues in the March 1998 MAGOP Report to be superior.

This report is presented in two sections. The first covers general comments on the Issues Paper and changes that the Group considers need to be made in preparing the final policy document. The second section contains specific comments that are largely editorial in nature, though not trivial in terms of their intent.