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NSW coasts: planning the way in Batemans Bay

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The Hon. Dr Mike Kelly AM MP Parliamentar y Secretar y for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestr y

NSW coasts - planning the way in Batemans Bay

10 November 2010 DAFF10/041K

Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Dr Mike Kelly, today opened the 19th annual New South Wales Coastal Conference in Batemans Bay.

The theme, Coastal Management—all aboard, making it work, focuses on finding cooperative solutions to issues facing coastal New South Wales.

“With a growing population and increasing development, the coastal environment presents both tremendous opportunities and tremendous challenges,” said Dr Kelly.

“Governments at all levels need to work together to make best use of and protect our large and diverse coastline.

“Australians love the beach but with about 85 per cent of us living within 50 kilometres of the sea, it’s critical to make sure we don’t love our coasts to death.”

The Australian Government is investing $2 billion through the Caring for our Country initiative to protect biodiversity, landscapes and water. .

“The government has committed $100 million over five years to community Coastcare projects through Caring for our Country,” said Dr Kelly.

“We are also investing heavily in marine and coastal regions through initiatives such as Landcare and the $200 million Reef Rescue package.

“The Australian Government will consult widely before any decisions are made about marine protected areas. This includes coastal communities, recreational and commercial fishers, marine and tourism businesses and environment groups.”

Dr Kelly also recognised the importance of sustainable fishing and aquaculture to coastal communities.

“The Australian domestic seafood industry generates more than $2 billion worth of seafood annually at the point of landing alone, from as many as 9 000 commercial fishing boats,” said Dr Kelly.

“When you add in the onshore processing and support services, and the tourism and jobs generated by recreational fishing, you begin to see just how important fishing is to coastal Australia.

“I look forward to meeting and working with the communities of coastal Australia to secure the health of our coastal environments and the future of coastal industries and communities.”

Media contact: Elyse Gatt 0459 810 654