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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

22 November 2000


Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill today announced an important milestone in Australia's Oceans Policy with the establishment of a Steering Committee for the South-east Marine Region.

In 1998, the Commonwealth Government released Australia's Oceans Policy to ensure the care, understanding and wise use of Australia's oceans. At the core of the Oceans Policy is the development of Regional Marine Plans.

Senator Hill said Australia is leading the world in introducing regional marine plans that will guarantee a sustainable future for the nation's oceans. They will help to protect the ocean environment and ensure fishing and other offshore industries are ecologically sound.

In April this year, Senator Hill launched the planning for the South-East region covering approximately two million square kilometres of ocean off Victoria, Tasmania, Macquarie Island, southern New South Wales and eastern South Australia.

Senator Hill said that the South-east Regional Marine Plan Steering Committee will help to guide and drive the planning process using their high levels of relevant expertise and experience.

"By working together, government, industry, experts and the community can design a plan that provides increased certainty and long-term security for maritime industries along with developing an improved sense of ownership and responsibility for sustaining marine ecosystems," Senator Hill said.

Members of the South-east Regional Marine Plan Steering Committee are:

Senator Hill said the South-east Regional Marine Plan Steering Committee will work with the National Oceans Office to advance the development of the South-east Regional Marine Plan.

"I am delighted this highly talented group have agreed to take on this challenging task," Senator Hill said.

"The expertise and experience that the Steering Committee members bring to the planning process is invaluable and I know that the staff of the National Oceans Office are looking forward to working with the Steering Committee.

"The appointment of the Steering Committee and ongoing involvement of key stakeholders and community groups will help to develop a Regional Marine Plan.

"This works toward achieving the vision of the National Oceans Policy - Healthy Oceans: cared for, understood and used wisely for the benefit of all, now and in the future."

November 22, 2000

Media contact: Belinda Huppatz 08 82377920 or 0419 258364
National Oceans Office: Veronica Sakell, (03) 6221 5021

Commonwealth of Australia