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Media Release

Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald
Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister for the Environment

OUR OCEANS - A BETTER WAY?


14 June 1998

Queenslanders with ideas on how to protect our oceans have been invited to participate in policy formation at a meeting in Brisbane tonight (Monday).

Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, Senator Ian Macdonald who will open tonight's meeting, said that the Federal Government was formulating Australia's first Oceans Policy.

"The formulation of an Oceans Policy is a world first and we want Queenslanders to have a say in what is included in this strategy.

"It is significant that this policy will be finalised in 1998 the International Year of the Ocean.

"Through the Coasts and Clean Seas program of the Natural Heritage Trust, the Government is actively seeking to ensure Australia's ocean and coastal resources are used and managed in a sustainable way.

"The Government is committed to putting in place an oceans policy that will both increase the opportunities for job growth in our marine industries and ensure that Australia's marine biodiversity is protected.

"Australia's oceans contain among the greatest array of marine biodiversity of anywhere in the world, including more than 4,000 species of fish, over 500 coral species in our northern reefs, over 50 species of marine mammals and tens of thousands of species of marine invertebrates, plants and microorganisms.

"Australia's Oceans Policy - An Issues Paper outlines opportunities to enhance our marine related employment and industrial growth while conserving our oceans.

"The release of this issues paper marks the final consultation stage and we are inventing comments from all stakeholders and members of the community before the policy is considered by Ministers," Senator Macdonald said.

Comments on the issues paper are due by 15 July 1998.

ENDS
14 June 1998
For more information contact Philip Connole (07) 4771 3066 or 0417 063 605.

The Marine and Costal Community Network and Environment Australia are hosting a consultation session on Monday 15 June 1998 at 7.00pm at the Royal Geographical Society of Queensland at 112 Brookes St Fortitude Valley.

Commonwealth of Australia