The Andrews Labor Government is fulfilling its election commitment to integrate the management of coastal and marine environments, in a move to better protect and preserve them.
The first steps towards a new Marine and Coastal Act have been taken, with the establishment of a new Expert Panel to identify and analyse the key challenges to marine and coastal health and management in Victoria.
The work of the panel will help determine what the new legislation must address, whilst considering the needs and values of the Victorian community.
Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville, has appointed Associate Professor Geoff Wescott as Chair of the panel, with the remaining members to be announced next month.
Dr Wescott is a member of the Victorian Coastal Council, an Associate Professor at Deakin University, and offers a wealth of experience in coastal and marine management and planning.
The panel will work with key stakeholders and guide the development of a discussion paper that will be put to the Victorian community for their views and input, early next year.
Creation of the new Act is one of several actions the Labor Government is taking to achieve better outcomes for Victoria’s marine, coastal and bay environments.
The Government has also started the development of a new Port Phillip Bay Environmental Management Plan (EMP), which will outline targets and actions that address threats to the bay’s health and natural assets.
Similar to the process for the Marine and Coastal Act, key stakeholder consultation for the EMP will begin this month, ahead of community input later in the year.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Environment, Lisa Neville
“Protecting our coastal and marine environments requires strong, effective legislation that is designed to meet the demands of the future.”
“Our bays, beaches and seaside areas are part of Victoria. They give our communities a great quality of life, they bring tourists from all over and support jobs and growth.”
“By working with the community and our expert panel, our new Act will establish a regime that protects our coastlines now and for years to come.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020