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


29 October 1997

The latest information on coastal and marine issues is now available through six new web sites on the Internet.

Federal Minister for the Environment Robert Hill said the web sites were an extension of the Howard Government's Coasts and Clean Seas program, the marine and coastal component of the Natural Heritage Trust.

'The Government has allocated $125 million under the Trust to conserve and protect the marine environment and to ensure the ecologically sustainable management of our ocean resources.

'The web sites provide coastal managers, scientists, industry and local government representatives and the community with an array of information on marine and coastal conservation and management.

'Internet users can access information on the development of the Government's Oceans Policy, due for release in 1998, the International Year of the Ocean.

'The Oceans Policy will be a first for Australia, putting us among the world's leaders in managing the conservation and commercial and recreational use of our marine estate.

'Other information ranges from descriptions of the key elements of the Coasts and Clean Seas program, discussion groups, funding guidelines through to sophisticated scientific databases.'

The web sites are arranged under six headings:
Coastcare - information about community groups working to protect the coast;
Marine Program - key marine conservation programs, such as the Oceans Policy;
CoastNet - a web discussion and information site on coastal management;
Coastal Atlas - users can produce maps using up to date data;
NatMIS - National Marine Information System;
Blue Pages - information about marine and coastal data.

The web sites can be accessed through:

29 October 1997 (125/97)

Contact: Matt Brown (Senator Hill's office) (02) 6277 7640 or 0419 693515
Conall O'Connell (Environment Australia) (02) 6274 1919

Commonwealth of Australia