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New Chief for the National Oceans Office.

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Media Release Minister for the Environment and Heritage Dr David Kemp

2 September 2003


New Chief for the National Oceans Office

Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, today announced Mr Max Kitchell will be appointed the new Director of the National Oceans Office.

"I am very pleased to announce Mr Kitchell will take up this important leadership role," Dr Kemp said.

"He is currently a Senior Manager in the Department of the Environment and Heritage and has extensive experience in natural resource management at both the Commonwealth and State level.

"Mr Kitchell has led the Department's Natural Resource Management Programmes Division through a challenging and exciting period overseeing for the environment portfolio the implementation of two of the Government's major programs the Natural Heritage Trust and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality.

"He has also held senior positions in the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries and in the Victorian Public Service."

The National Oceans Office is based in Hobart and was established in December 1999. It is responsible for implementing and further developing Australia's Oceans Policy, which is designed to manage the 16 million square kilometres of oceans that make up Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone by developing comprehensive, strategic regional marine plans.

In July, Dr Kemp launched the first regional marine plan under Australia's Oceans Policy.

"The draft South-east Regional Marine Plan takes in more than two million square kilometres of Australia's ocean territory around Victoria, Tasmania, eastern South Australia and southern New South Wales, as well as the sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island," Dr Kemp said.

"This Region makes a vital contribution to the economic and social fabric of Australia. More than 270,000 people work in marine-related industries in the Region, valued at $19 billion annually."

Under Mr Kitchell's direction, the National Oceans Office will continue to fulfill its important role as the lead Australian Government agency responsible for oceans.

"This will include further work developing Australia's second regional marine plan for the northern ocean territory around the Gulf of Carpentaria and Eastern Arafura Sea," Dr Kemp said.

"The Government has invested more than $50 million in the development and implementation of Australia's Oceans Policy since it was announced in 1998."

Dr Kemp said he would like to thank Mr Mark Tucker for the excellent job he has done as the Acting Director of the National Oceans Office since April 2003.

Mr Tucker is returning to Canberra for family reasons where he will resume working in the Department of the Environment and Heritage.

Mr Max Kitchell - Recent Career Summary

Max Kitchell has been the Head of the Natural Resouce Management Programmes Division in the Department of the Environment and Heritage since July 2000. He is also the Chief of Natural Heritage Trust operations.

As Head of the Division responsible for natural resource policy and program implementation, Mr Kitchell oversees the Natural Heritage Trust and National Action Plan for Salinty and Water Quality on behalf of the Australian Government's environment portfolio. He is Australia's representative at two United Nations multilateral environment conventions - the Convention on Biological Diversity and Convention to Combat Desertification.

Before joining the Department, he held several senior positions in the Tasmanian Public Service. He was the General Manager of Resource Management and Conservation in the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment, and Director of the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service. Prior to this, he also held senior positions within the Victorian Public Service.