Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith has appointed six new members to the Western Coast Regional Coastal Board to develop a coastal action plan for the region and provide advice on coastal development and use.
Mr Smith said the Western Coastal Board had an important role in planning and advising on coastal and marine environments extending from Breamlea near Torquay to the South Australian border.
"I have appointed Councillor Jill Parker as the new chair of the board and congratulate her on her appointment. Cr Parker is a councillor with Moyne Shire council, a representative on the National Sea Change Taskforce and chair of the Moyne Shire Conservation and Environment Committee. She has extensive experience as a committee member and chairperson of various community and local government committees," Mr Smith said.
"In addition I welcome Raymond Page, Mark Edmonds, Matthew Gorman, Oliver Moles and Glenn Wallace to the board. They will join Dr John Sherwood and Carole Reid who have been reappointed for another term.
"One of the board's main responsibilities will be to develop an overarching coastal action plan for the region. This plan will help to balance protection and enhancement of the coast with recreation, use and tourism.
"The Western Coastal Board also works closely with the Victorian Coastal Council which guides coastal planning for Victoria's 2,000 kilometres of coastline.
"Cr Parker will join the chairs of Victoria's two other coastal boards – Gippsland Lakes and Coast Regional Coastal Board and Central Coast Regional Coastal Board – as a member of the Victorian Coastal Council, helping to ensure the coast is well managed across the state.
"The area covered by Western Coastal Board includes iconic destinations such as the Great Ocean Road, Bells Beach and Twelve Apostles. These are unique places and their coastal and marine environments need to be managed with care.
"In Victoria, 96 per cent of the coastline is in public ownership. The coast is critical to our local economy, community and lifestyle. We rely on board members to help ensure sustainable management of this vital part of our region."
Mr Smith also thanked outgoing acting chairperson Susan Mudford for her contribution to the board.
"Ms Mudford has worked hard to represent coastal issues effectively among key stakeholders and the community. In recent years she has led completion of the Boating Coastal Action Plan and the Board's case study on climate adaptation focused on coastal caravan and camping parks.
"I also thank additional outgoing members, Alexina Chalmers, Denise Lovett, Andrew Mason, Alain Purnell, Dr Helen Scarborough and John Young; and the outgoing Department of Sustainability and Environment and Parks Victoria representatives, Craig Whiteford and Rodney Newnham for their work in recent years on the board.
"The board worked diligently and with great enthusiasm to ensure that coastal management issues have remained at the forefront of discussion. I thank them all for their time and their many contributions towards managing and conserving our precious coast," Mr Smith said.