Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith has appointed five new members to the Central Coastal Board to develop a coastal action plan for the region and provide advice on coastal development and use.
Mr Smith said the Central Coastal Board had an important role in planning and advising on coastal and marine environments extending from Breamlea near Torquay to Inverloch in West Gippsland.
"I have appointed Cathy Whelan as the new chair of the board and congratulate her on her appointment. Ms Whelan has an extensive background in senior management in local government, leading organisational change, strategic planning, governance and community consultation. She is currently chair of the Bellarine Bayside Foreshore Committee of Management and has an in-depth knowledge of complex coastal issues which will be extremely valuable to the board.
"In addition, I welcome Andrew Rodda, Ross Kilborn, Anne-Marie Tenni and Angela Reidy to the board. They will join Jeffrey Weir, Dr Rosalind Jessop, Dr Michaela Dommisse and Gary Martyn 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 Central Coastal Board also works closely with the Victorian Coastal Council which guides coastal planning for Victoria's 2,000 kilometres of coastline.
"Ms Whelan will join the chairs of Victoria's two other coastal boards – Gippsland Lakes and Coast Regional Coastal Board and Western 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 Central Coastal Board is highly urbanised with Melbourne and Geelong having a combined and growing population of more than four million people. The coastline has many important uses including residential, recreation, tourism, ports, fishing and industry.
"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 the outgoing chairperson, Elizabeth Johnstone for her hard work and dedication over more than a decade with the board.
"Ms Johnstone has been the driving force behind the Board and an effective member of the Victorian Coastal Council. She helped to deliver important projects such as the Community Capacity Building Project (2008) and the Engaging Coastal Communities Project (2007) and was deeply involved in the Corio Bay, Mt Eliza to Point Nepean and Boating Coastal Action Plans.
"I also thank outgoing members Trevor Abrahams, Timothy Hellsten, Dr John Lumb and Amy McDonald; and the outgoing Department of Sustainability and Environment and Parks Victoria representatives, Rodney Warren and Richard O'Bryne for their work in recent years on the board.
"The Central Coast Regional Coastal Board has 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.