VEAC marine investigation
VEAC marine investigation
Get involved in the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council's (VEAC) marine investigation.
The VNPA is now calling its passionate marine supporters to have their say.
The draft proposals report will provide the Government with recommendations about the outcomes of Victoria's marine national parks and sanctuaries since they were established, as well as the threats and challenges and how they are being managed It's critical that everyone interested in securing the future of our incredibly unique marine national parks and sanctuaries engages in the process.
Write a submission
We will be compiling information to help you write your submission - stay tuned. In the meantimetake a look some background information on this page.
Who cares? You do?
A small segment of the fishing community strongly opposes marine national parks and better measures to manage and protect the marine environment despite the weight of scientific evidence that marine national park networks help protect all marine life.
We know that the vast majority of Victorians support our current network of marine national parks and sanctuaries.
A recent community attitudes and behaviour survey commissioned by the Victorian Coastal Council shows more than 90% of Victorians support the network.
Marine protected areas are vitally important to protect plants and animals, and equally important for the educational and recreational uses of the oceans.
Marine inquiry terms of reference
This VEAC enquiry is the first substantial look at our precious waters in ten years.
While the VNPA welcomed the announcement of the VEAC investigation, the scope of the inquiry is very narrow and fails to look at the health of the vast majority of Victoria's marine world.
This VEAC inquiry is only assessing 11.7% of the coastline. This 11.7% consists 13 marine national parks and11 marine sanctuaries (5.3% of state waters) and six marine parks, marine reserves or marine and coastal parks that allow some forms of fishing (6.4% of state waters).
The fact that 88.3% of our waters fall out of the scope of VEAC's remit is of great concern.
So what should VEAC be looking at?
VEAC needs to take into account the 2011 Victorian Auditor-General's Office Marine Report, which calls for more active management including statewide policies and planning for the whole marine environment.
VEAC must also investigate best practice international and national policies and strategies, and ecosystem-based management approaches upon which a marine plan could be based.
Why is this VEAC investigation significant?
The VEAC model is recognised as being of world class for independence, community consultation, and science-based processes for natural resource management.
VEAC's predecessor, the Land Conservation Council, was established in 1971 by the Victorian Government. It was later renamed the Environment Conservation Council, and then VEAC, but its functions have remained broadly the same for 40 years.
For years VEAC has provided the Victorian Government with independent, strategic advice relating to the protection and ecologically sustainable management of our environment and natural resources.
The terms of reference for the marine inquiry can be found on the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council's website.
What lurks beneath?
Victoria's marine environment is one of the most diverse in the world. It is home to more than 12,000 species - more than 90% unique to our southern waters - and is of global significance.
However, our marine environment is under increasing threat.
The VNPA's Marine Nature Conservation Review pin-pointed clear gaps in our current marine protected areas network and highlighted conservation values, critical habitats and threats.
These threats can be cumulative and include: ocean acidification, invasive species and pathogens, pollution and unsustainable fishing.
Our bays are also under pressure from port development with dredging and dredge spoil causing ongoing harm.
There is currently minimal environmental management of nearly 90% of state marine waters, with most of the legislation commodity focused and dealing with extractive activities such as fisheries and oil and gas exploration.
The only thorough way of assessing ocean health is through a comprehensive investigation of Victoria's entire marine environment, including looking at critical habitats, values and threats.
As with land-based national parks, the creation and management of marine national parks is a core conservation tool for keeping ecosystems healthy, but marine national parks should not be treated as a yardstick for the health of our entire marine environment.
How will the VEAC inquiry work?
There will be various opportunities for community input, including:
- Comments on the Proposed Terms of Reference for the Inquiry, which closed on 19 August 2011.
- Written submissions for consideration in the development of the discussion paper, which closed on Monday 25 June, 2012.
- Comments on the draft proposals paper will open for public comment at the end of November 2013.
The final report and recommendations are due to be submitted to the Victorian environment minister early to mid 2014.
You can register your interest online through the VEAC website to receive regular updates.
New stage of marine inquiry announced!
You're urged to get involved in the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council's (VEAC) marine environment investigation.
VEAC's draft proposals report will be open for public consultation at the end of November and the VNPA is calling on our passionate marine defenders to have their say.
Your marine heritage. Your say.
To help you draft your submissions we will be providing key points and handy references.
VNPA supporters are passionate, committed and often highly knowledgeable so if you have your own information about Victorian waters, please provide it. There is a lot to be said for citizen science and here is a chance to put your local knowledge and observations to good use.
Making your submission by email
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