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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Federal Government's world-leading efforts to protect coastal and ocean environments has taken another major step forward with the launch of a new on-line coastal atlas.
Launching the Australian Coastal Atlas at the National Coastal Conference in Melbourne, Environment Minister Robert Hill said the internet site provides important information for people involved in conservation work.
"Through the Natural Heritage Trust, the Government has identified that one of the most effective ways to protect our coasts is to work in partnership with coastal agencies to provide information to local communities.
"The Coastal Atlas (ACA) has been developed with the States and Territories to involve all Australians working and interested in the marine and coastal environment. It provides the information that forms the basis of effective action.
"These days there is so much information generated by a multitude of organisations that the biggest problem is finding the information for a particular area of interest. The ACA is designed to make that search easier," Senator Hill said.
The ACA is designed to promote the awareness, use and availability of marine and coastal information using an interactive atlas and directory tool. It can be used by managers and community groups to help in the planning of their management projects.
The ACA, an initiative of the Natural Heritage Trust's Coasts and Clean Seas program, is also a national network of marine and coastal agencies working together to provide information to the public over the Internet.
" The use of Internet technology allows access by a broad base of users who can search for and display the data for any region of interest and print a customised map. The data is the most up-to-date available.
"The on-line atlas will be of considerable help to decision-makers and to those groups who need to access the latest coastal information."
The Environmental Resources Information Network (ERIN) within Environment Australia has developed the mapping application on which the ACA is based.
The Australian Coastal Atlas can be found at: http://www.environment.gov.au/marine/coastal_atlas
Rod Bruem (Senator Hill) 02 6277 7640
Kate Ord (Environment Australia) 02 6274 1310