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

25 November 1999

FIRST OCEANS OFFICE DIRECTOR APPOINTED


A senior Tasmanian government official, Alex Schaap, will become the first director of Australia's National Oceans Office.

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage and Chair of the National Oceans Ministerial Board, Robert Hill, has announced Mr Schaap's appointment.

Senator Hill says the National Oceans Office will help guide the future wise use and overall management of Australia's vast oceans, in partnership with a range of stakeholders, including industry, government and environment organisations.

"Mr Schaap will have the principal task of leading the National Oceans Office in the development of regional marine planning for Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), beginning with the South East of our EEZ.

"The Office will also coordinate the overall implementation of Australia's Oceans Policy, the $50 million initiative funded through this year's Budget.

"With his most recent experience as the Director of Marine Resources, within Tasmania's Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment, Mr Schaap is well placed to meet these challenges."

Mr Schaap has had a significant national role in the development of fisheries management policy and practice, as well as implementing marine planning for Tasmania.

The National Oceans Office will be sited in central Hobart and will service the National Oceans Ministerial Board, consisting of the Commonwealth ministers with responsibility for the environment, industry, fisheries, transport, tourism and science.

The National Oceans Office is located within the Marine Group of Environment Australia, the Federal Government's environment agency. Mr Schaap's appointment is subject to standard Australian Public Service processes.

Contact:
Rod Bruem (Senator Hill's office) 02 62777 7640 or 0419 258 364
Conall O'Connell (Head of the Marine Group, EA) 02 6274 1466

Commonwealth of Australia