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Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Reviews and recommendations

A report commissioned by Environment Australia October 1997
Leon P. Zann and Owen Earley Centre for Coastal Management Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW

Commonwealth of Australia

4. Overview of the reports reviewed

The following reports were selected for review because their subject material and generally national focus were relevant to Oceans Policy development. These were categorised as most relevant (10 reports); generally relevant (16 reports); and partially relevant (8 reports). Within each category the reports are listed chronologically. As it was not possible to list all the recommendations contained in these reports, only a selection of the most relevant (that is, those with a national focus or addressed policy development) are given. Full texts are available in the electronic database. The formal status of the reports and recommendations were obtained from the agencies commissioning the reports. In some cases information was not available in time to be included in this paper.

4.1 The top ten reports:

1. Oceans of wealth? (McKinnon, 1989)

This report was undertaken to evaluate the achievements, strengths and competitive advantages of Australia's research activities in marine science and technology. The report also includes an assessment of industrial and commercial opportunities in marine industries both in Australia and internationally, as well as actions needed for Australia to perform more strongly in relation to those opportunities identified. Underlying the report was, therefore, a significant economic component in terms of the contribution marine science and industries could make to the Australian economy. The main findings of the report were grouped under two broad headings: achievements in marine science and technology, and marine industries and commercial opportunities dependent on marine science and technology. Marine industries considered were fishing, aquaculture, tourism, offshore oil and gas, marine transport and shipping, shipbuilding, and defence.

Recommendations: Oceans of Wealth? contained 24 recommendations which include: (1) the Commonwealth Government should prepare and implement a long-range policy of deliberately developing its marine resources and marine industries; (2) an Australian Marine Industries and Sciences Council (AMlSC) be established; (13) the States and the Commonwealth... should cooperate to establish a system of accurate national statistics for fisheries catch and effort; and (16) where feasible, levies should be raised on marine tourism to help pay for environmental monitoring and research.

Status: The Government accepted and partially implemented most of the recommendations made.


2. Final report on fisheries (ESD [ecologically sustainable development] working groups, 1991)

This report was one of nine released as a result of the ESD process undertaken in the early 1990s. The approach adopted by the Working Group in relation to fisheries was based on ‘ecosystem management', thereby recognising that fisheries do not operate, and cannot be managed, in isolation from other management considerations. Under a heading of ecosystem management the Working Group considered coastal zone management and the need for a national coastal zone management strategy, the role of marine protected areas in maintaining ecosystems and biodiversity, the state of the aquatic environment, concern about introduced exotic organisms, and the needs of freshwater fisheries. The Working Group also focused on the administrative and institutional arrangements that impact on fisheries and made a number of recommendations about public sector management arrangements, along with recommendations on issues such as by-catch, fishing capacity and controls, and recreational fishing. Jurisdictional arrangements, education and training needs, and topics such as aquaculture, Indigenous fishing and value-adding in the industry were also considered.

Recommendations: The Final Report on Fisheries contained 31 recommendations including: (1) that Australian fisheries management be undertaken within an ecosystem management framework; (3) that resource users should be directly represented in all decision-making processes and institutional arrangements for coastal zone management; (5) that all levels of government initiate urgent action to ensure the conservation of critical habitats for wild fish; (7) that the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC)... develop national guidelines for a 'state of the aquatic environment' reporting mechanism; (21) that fishers (commercial and recreational) develop and adopt codes of practice to encourage ecologically sustainable development.

Status: Submitted to government in late 1991. General ESD strategy accepted by all spheres of government. Fisheries management agencies accept general recommendations (e.g. 1, 5).


3. The injured coastline (Commonwealth of Australia, 1992)

This inquiry was begun in 1990, with the report published in April 1991. The terms of reference were focused on environmental degradation of the Australian coastline and coastal waters with particular reference to effluent disposal, land degradation, management of urban water resources, impacts on fishing, tourism and other industries, administrative, legislative and policy initiatives needed for environmental protection, and the role of the Commonwealth Government in coastal zone management. Additionally, the Committee was required to review previous parliamentary reports relating to the coastal zone. Administrative regimes, sewage and water quality, and protection of the coastal environment comprised the most significant sections of the final report. Two important points made by the Committee were that there should be no further national inquiries into the coastal zone until the implementation of its own recommendations had been reviewed; and that, while acknowledging the RAC inquiry that was then under way, the Commonwealth should not wait for completion of the RAC inquiry before implementing the (Commonwealth) House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment, Recreation and the Arts (HORSCERA) recommendations.

Recommendations: The Injured Coastline contained 12 recommendations including: (1) effective public participation in coastal zone management be encouraged at the local government level; (4) adequate funding be provided to existing Commonwealth and State research programs investigating the likely impacts of the bio-accumulation of toxic substances in the marine environment; (5) national water quality guidelines based upon the assimilative capacity of the receiving waters be prepared as expeditiously as possible; (6) ANZECC and/or AWRC should develop national standards for waste discharges from all types of industry; and (8) the Commonwealth develop without further delay a national coastal zone management strategy in cooperation with the States and Territories and local government.

Status: Action has been taken to implement many of the recommendations.


4. The coastal zone inquiry—final report (RAC, 1993)

The Coastal Zone Inquiry reported into the management and use of the resources of Australia's coastal zone. It represents the most comprehensive investigation into this matter yet undertaken in Australia. The Inquiry was carried out by the Resource Assessment Commission (RAC) over a one year period from February 1992. Its progress included a number of stages, with the participation of the public and interested parties emphasised throughout. Many issues were raised in the Final Report of the Coastal Zone Inquiry—major issues included: the impacts of Australia's population growth and structure; competition between users for coastal resources; and degrading natural ecosystems.

Recommendations: The Coastal Zone Inquiry contains 69 specific recommendations including: (3) all governments with coastal zone responsibilities develop local and regional coastal zone management objectives that are consistent with the agreed national objectives; (4) ministerial councils and government agencies preparing national criteria for management of resources; (11) all local authorities review existing arrangements for dealing with coastal zone management issues; (13) a Coastcare program be established by the Commonwealth Government; (17) the Council of Australian Governments... initiate a process whereby traditional hunting, fishing and gathering rights are recognised by governments and amendments are made to laws and regulations; (41) the potential... impacts of development proposals, including potential cumulative impacts, be evaluated on a broader scale than the immediate development site.

Status: Most of the recommendations have been accepted and partially implemented.


5. State of the marine environment report (SOMER, 1995/96)

SOMER (Zann 1995, 1996) was a scientific report produced for the Commonwealth to provide baseline information for the Ocean Rescue 2000 program. It found that Australia's marine environment is of great national and global value (EEZ one of the world's largest; largest area of coral reefs; largest area and diversity of temperate seagrass, temperate macroalgae, tropical seagrass, mangroves etc.). While it was not possible to assess accurately and quantitatively the state of Australia's marine environment, because of its vast size, great diversity and lack of long-term data, SOMER rated its condition as 'generally good' but with some caveats (issues, below).

Recommendations: While SOMER did not contain recommendations, the issues indicate management priorities. The top five issues were: (1) declining inshore water quality (elevated nutrients and sediments, localised 'hot spots' of heavy metal, hydrocarbon and organochlorine pollution, litter etc.); (2) loss of inshore habitats on developed coastlines (degradation of estuaries and coastal lakes; declines in temperate seagrass; loss of mangrove and saltmarsh habitats; unsustainable coastal development; effects of fishing on sea floor communities; introductions of foreign species etc.); (3) unsustainable use of marine and coastal resources (from over-harvesting of fish and other marine life, coastal developments, conflicting resource use etc.); (4) lack of marine science policy, lack of long-term research and monitoring etc.); and (5) lack of strategic planning in the coastal and marine environments and lack of an Oceans Policy.

Status: SOMER was a once-off report. It was used as a baseline for the Ocean Rescue 2000 program and Coasts and Clean Seas Initiatives, and the national SoE Report (below). The pollution issues raised were examined in the recent Senate ‘Inquiry on Marine Pollution' (SERCARC, 1997).


6. Australia: state of the environment 1996 (SoE Advisory Council 1996)

The Australian State of the Environment (SoE) Report was an independent report by the State of the Environment Advisory Council to the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment undertaken in part as a response to the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development (1992). It was undertaken using the now standard ‘pressure/state/response' model for SoE recommended by OECD. The seven environments reported included ‘estuaries and the sea' which was largely based on SOMER.

Recommendations: The SoE Report was a baseline report and did not contain recommendations. Key issues indicate priorities: (1) inadequate knowledge base (because of great size of EEZ, lack of geographically comprehensive and long-term scientific information etc.); (2) habitat loss and degradation (seagrass in estuaries and coastal lakes; saltmarsh and mangroves near urban areas; effects of trawling and scallop dredging on the sea floor community etc.); (3) declining water and sediment quality (elevated nutrients and sedimentation affecting inshore coral reefs and temperate seagrass; sewage discharges and urban run-off; localised oil, heavy metal, organochlorine hots-spots around metropolitan and industrial areas; beach and ocean litter); (4) unsustainable use of marine and coastal resources (over-harvesting of fish and other marine life); (5) introduced pests (particularly toxic marine algae and the Northern Pacific seastar) via ships' ballast waters and hulls; (6) requirement for a set of representative marine; (7) need for integrated management (Australia has not had a clear direction or agreed national strategy for managing its marine or coastal environments).

Status: National SoE Reports will be undertaken every five years. A set of nationally agreed indicators is being developed for future, more quantitative reports.


7. National biodiversity strategy (ANZECC, 1996)

This National Strategy aims to bridge the gap between current activities and the effective identification, conservation and management of Australia's biological diversity. The Strategy's primary focus is Australia's indigenous biological diversity. The National Biodiversity Strategy was prepared by the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) in consultation with many other national councils. Industry and community views were also taken into account. The Strategy raised the issue of deficiencies in resourcing and coordination, in the adequacy of the protected area system, and in the knowledge upon which decisions are made. A major finding of the Strategy was the need for greater consistency in approaches between governments and improved information flows between all sectors of the community.

Recommendations: The Strategy contained 104 recommendations of which 90 were relevant to Oceans Policy, including: (1) identify the terrestrial, marine and other aquatic components of biological diversity that are important for its conservation and ecologically sustainable use; (4) undertake bioregional planning for the conservation of biological diversity; (6) ensure consistency between Commonwealth, State and Territory and local governments' management approaches affecting the conservation of biological diversity; (8) develop effective methods for the economic analysis of management and protection options, with particular reference to the allocation of external costs and benefits; and (20) provide resources for the conservation of traditional biological knowledge through cooperative ethnobiological programs.

Status: All objectives of the Strategy were accepted with the signing by all State and Territory Governments in 1996. The Strategy is currently being implemented.


8. Australian marine industries - shipping partners report (ASTEC, 1996)

The Shipping Partners Report examines the science and technology and skills required for innovative and sustainable shipping and shipbuilding industries in Australia to the year 2010. Emphasis in the report is placed on fast ship transportation, maritime defence opportunities and EEZ resources and management.

Recommendations: This report contains 18 recommendations primarily concerned with the support and promotion of Australian shipping industry, including: (1) the Australian Maritime Engineering Cooperative Research Centre's participants lay the foundation for an Australian shipbuilding industry development program; (3) [Industry] foster the creation of design and professional engineering expertise to avoid possible future increasing reliance on overseas design capability; (5) [Industry] develop and implement a national shipbuilding industry development program; and (14) [the Federal Government] implement policies that encourage Australian shipowners to buy Australian built fast ships for operation under the Australian flag.

Status: not yet available


9. Marine industry development strategy (AMISC, 1997)

This strategy advises the Government on how it might maximise sustainable wealth generation from marine industries such as aquaculture, biotechnology, fisheries, offshore oil and gas, shipbuilding, shipping transport services, marine engineering, and tourism and recreation. Issues raised include the need for: improvements in the current regulatory and management systems; a management approach driven by the achievement of outcomes; a coordinated approach to multiple use; a comprehensive effort to collect basic data; and high quality research and training. The major finding of the strategy is that most marine industries have a good potential for growth.

Recommendations: The strategy contains four general recommendations which can be summarised as: (1) Governments at all levels in Australia should regularly and frequently review their policies and decision-making processes affecting marine industries; (2) Governments throughout Australia should develop and introduce consistent legislation to define and apply ecologically sustainable development principles to marine industry development; (3) the Commonwealth Government should place high priority on the development of policies consistent with this Strategy; and (4) Governments should recognise the importance of adequate basic data for sustainable industry development and environmental management.

Status: There has been endorsement by relevant Commonwealth ministers that the Strategy's recommendations be taken up in the context of the national Oceans Policy and, where appropriate, the Marine S & T [Science and Technology] Plan.


10. Inquiry on marine pollution (SERCARC, 1997)

The Senate Inquiry was undertaken to examine the management of water and biological nutrients in Australia, with emphasis on terrestrial impacts on marine and coastal environments through run-off, stormwater and sewage outfalls. It examined: (a) the adequacy of legislation to give effect to Australia's obligations under UNCLOS and other international treaties; (b) administrative arrangements required to improve conservation of the marine and coastal environments, including consideration of an oceans management policy; (c) impact of pollution on water and sediment quality, marine biodiversity and commercial and recreational users; and (d) ways of maximising community involvement. The Inquiry received 118 submissions and held seven public meetings around Australia. The Report was released in late October 1997.

Recommendations: There were 29 recommendations. The top 10 (by priority) were: (1) establishment of a central authority to coordinate coastal and marine affairs; (2) marine affairs a standing item on COAG agenda; (3) guidelines for point-source discharges into the marine environment; (4) amend National Environment Protection Council (NEPC) legislation to give wider powers to make NEP Measures; (5) develop coherent and effective policies and practices at local level; (6) relate catchment management policies to eventual impact on marine environment; (7) address issue of acid sulphate soils and impact on marine environments, develop legislation and management strategies, rehabilitate disturbed areas; (8) uniform targets for elimination of untreated sewage discharges; (9) uniform targets for stormwater; (10) develop effective on-site wastewater technologies. Other recommendations relate to: waste re-use, protection of wetlands, protection of seagrass, review of oil spill control, disposal of ship's wastes, ballast water etc.

Status: tabled in Senate late Oct 1997. No Government response to date.

4.2 Other major reports:

11. Environmental research in Australia: the issues (ASTEC, 1990)

This Report highlights the major obstacles to the improvement of environmental research in Australia and the input of such research into the government decision-making process in relation to natural resource management issues. It outlines a strategy to achieve a more focused approach in recognising the fundamental link between environmental research and sustainable development.

Recommendations: This Report contains nine recommendations, including: (1) the Commonwealth Government support inter-disciplinary research by directing competitive research funding bodies to include specific reference to inter-disciplinary research in their funding guidelines; (3) the development of environmentally benign technologies for cleaner production be recognised as a priority by the Commonwealth Government; (7) the Commonwealth Government develop an Environmental Research Strategy; and (9) Commonwealth Government support the integration of scientific research and natural resource decision-making.

Status: not yet available.


12. Offshore strategy (DPIE, 1990)

This Government strategy is aimed at promoting an efficient and competitive petroleum exploration and production industry. The strategy is based on the perceived need to expand the petroleum industry in Australia. Its major elements are: the release of offshore areas for exploration by companies; the collection of exploration data and its dissemination to explorers; and the improvement of company awareness about Australia's title acquisition and taxation arrangements.

Recommendations: The Strategy did not contain recommendations.

Status: not yet available.


13. Antarctic research priorities for the 1990s (ASAC, 1991)

Australia's interest in the Southern Ocean and the continent of Antarctica dates back for more than a century. This report was based on the need to set priorities for Australia's future involvement in Antarctic science. The Antarctic Research Priorities report highlights the role of the Antarctic in global phenomena and the practical implications of climate change and ozone depreciation.

Recommendations: The report made 21 recommendations concerning Antarctic research priorities, including: (2) Australia should maintain a broad, well balanced program of basic Antarctic research; (8) long-term monitoring of atmospheric constituents, important to the study of possible climate variations, should be continued and expanded; (9) satellite monitoring of meteorological, oceanographic and glaciological parameters should be further developed; (11) research directed towards understanding the influence Antarctica has on world climate should be further supported; and (12) Australia should seek to play a stronger role in Antarctic meteorology through the establishment of an operational and research centre in Antarctic meteorology.

Status: Recommendations were reviewed and prioritised in ASAC's 1992 report Antarctic Science: the Way Forward.


14. Antarctic science: the way forward (ASAC, 1992)

This report follows on from the general discussion of research priorities which were addressed in ASAC's 1991 report Antarctic Research Priorities for the 1990's: A Review (above). This report enquires whether Australia's current efforts in Antarctic science are organised to maximise scientific benefit. In preparing this report submissions were sought from all interested parties.

Recommendations: This report made 21 recommendations aimed at increasing Antarctic research efficiency. These include: (1) there should be a shift in emphasis in Australian scientific activities towards strategic programs that build a systematic knowledge of the Antarctic; (7) a public call should be made each year for submissions from non-government scientists to contribute to the defined strategic programs; (15) the Antarctic Division... should review the data-sets and other collections of Antarctic material that should be maintained; and (18) scientific programs in astronomy, space physics and cosmic ray physics are of considerable scientific interest, and the Antarctic continent provides a unique platform for their study.

Status: This report concerned priorities and structure of the program up to the year 2000. The report was accepted and has been implemented, and is continuing to have effect. A new report dealing with the period between 2000 and 2030 was released to government very recently (3 November 1997). The text of the report can be found at http://www.aad.gov.au/foresight.


15. Cost recovery for managing fisheries (Industry Commission, 1992)

Cost recovery for fisheries management services was introduced into Commonwealth fisheries in 1984. To complete this report the Industry Commission was asked to examine the question of cost recovery, determined the beneficiaries of fisheries management and who should pay for what aspects of management, how they should pay and when they should pay. In answering these questions the principle the Commission has adopted is that beneficiaries of fisheries management should generally pay.

Recommendations: The report contained 11 recommendations concerning the issues mentioned above. These include: (1) the Commonwealth and States accelerate the rationalisation of fisheries management under the OCS, so that each fishery can be managed by a single agency; (2) the Commonwealth and the States cooperate to establish an Australian Fishing Zone Authority; (4) [the Commission recommends] rationalisation of Commonwealth and State fisheries research agencies and commensurate adjustments in appropriations; and (11) [the Commission recommends] that foreign fishermen continue to pay access fees.

Status: not yet available.


16. Review of national plan to combat pollution of the sea by oil (AMSA, 1993)

In late 1991, the Australian Transport Advisory Council (ATAC) Ministers established a High Level Working Party to review the National Plan to Combat Pollution of the Sea by Oil. The High Level Working party consisted of representatives of the Federal Government, State and Northern Territory Governments and relevant industry bodies. The report recognises the importance of prevention as the first line of defence against oil spills. However, as prevention can not be guaranteed, there is the need for contingency response plans such as the National Plan.

Recommendations: This report contained 30 recommendations including: (5) a review be undertaken by AMSA... into the requirements to respond to chemical spills at sea; (9) States/NT, via the National Plan State Committee, be the lead agency for responding to oil spills in State waters; (21) an assessment team be formed representing AMSA, the States/NT and industry to review and report to the Advisory Committee annually on national equipment needs; and (30) the need for safe havens be addressed by each State/NT and that appropriate information be gathered and preparations made to allow a decision on safe havens to be made.

Status: ATAC Ministers accepted the review in June 1993 and asked that the relevant actions be implemented as soon as practicable.


17. Ballast water—ports & shipping study (BRS, 1993)

This study was undertaken by the Bureau of Resource Sciences (BRS) as part of the Ballast Water Research program. It documents the movements of bulk carriers that visited Australian ports during 1991. The report indicates the sources, volume and frequency of ballast water discharged into Australian waters. The study found that over 90 per cent of ballast water discharged was from the Asia-Pacific region.

Recommendations: The report contains 13 recommendations, directed at the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS), which are aimed at reducing the risk of exotic species entering Australia through ballast water. These include that AQIS: (1) include in its pratique forms... questions about the amount and port/s of origin of ballast water to be discharged as well as whether and where they have reballasted at sea; (2) conduct a port testing program to establish baseline data on exotic species present; (5) fund a study to identify the exotic organisms of high concern to Australia; and (12) encourage the establishment of an international port testing program and alert system.

Status: not yet available.


18. Fisheries reviewed (SSCISTTCI, 1993)

This review of Commonwealth fisheries was carried out by the Senate Standing Committee on Industry, Science, Technology, Transport, Communications and Infrastructure (SSCISTTCI). Some of its major findings were that fisheries Management Committees should have an enhanced role and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) should remain represented on each Management Committee and would assist in developing performance indicators.

Recommendations: The review contains 46 recommendations aimed at improving Commonwealth fisheries management. These include: (2) that AFMA's objectives be listed in order of importance in the Act and that the Act be amended to reflect this; (6) that AFMA develop and implement a code of practice to be adopted with respect to their dealings with fishers; (11) that AFMA be required to closely monitor the activities of the Management Committees; (28) that regulations be introduced to prohibit the dumping of commercially marketable species; and (46) that all Commonwealth fishery authorities should consult with the wider industry to identify and discuss potential international fishing problems, consider alternatives and negotiate agreed courses of action.

Status: not yet available.


19. Managing multiple use in the coastal zone (Whitehouse, 1993)

This review of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) provides an examination of the role, operations and management program of the Commonwealth agency charged with the protection, wise use, understanding and enjoyment of the Great Barrier Reef. The review of the GBRMPA focused on major strategic issues. It did not seek to examine detailed operational issues nor to propose detailed administrative changes. It sought to examine the strategic issues facing the management of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP), the extent to which existing institutional arrangements are appropriate to meet the current and future challenges, and the direction of key programs undertaken in the management of the GBRMP.

Recommendations: This review contained 52 recommendations which include: (2) the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act should be amended to include... reference to the concepts of ecologically sustainable development and ecosystem management, the protection of World Heritage values and the concept of multiple use management of the GBRMP; (7) GBRMPA should document the cultural significance of the GBR Region, particularly with respect to the associations of the region with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; (9) the appropriate basis for planning and managing marine environments requires a regional planning approach utilising the principles of biosphere reserves; and (38) GBRMPA needs to provide a greater level of investment in training and skill development of day-to-day management staff.

Status: not yet available.


20. National aquaculture strategy (Working Group on Aquaculture, 1994)

The growing importance and potential role of aquaculture in the seafood industry was highlighted in 1988 in the Australian Science and Technology Council's report 'Casting the Net'. This report recommended the preparation of an overview of the national status and future potential of aquaculture. The Draft Strategy was released in April 1993 for a period of public comment. Submissions were received from individuals, industry members and their organisations, academic institutions, government agencies, environmental groups and other bodies. Following detailed consideration by the Working Group on Aquaculture of all submissions, the Draft Strategy was revised and then endorsed by key industry bodies.

Recommendations: The Strategy contains 60 recommendations which include: (1) the identification of a peak body to represent the aquaculture industry in Australia; (5) resolve resource use issues through consultation between government agencies, aquaculture and fishing industry representatives; (8) include risk assessment of the potential interaction between cultured animals and wild fish stocks; (10) recognise the current and potential requirements of aquaculture in the formulation or review of land use and coastal management policies; and (15) develop appropriate management practices and technologies to minimise the effects of aquaculture on the environment.

Status: not yet available.


21. A global representative system of marine protected areas (Kelleher, 1995)

This report aims to identify priority areas for the establishment and management of a global system of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). It provides strategic guidance to governments, aid agencies and others working to conserve marine biodiversity and achieve sustainable use of the marine environment.

Recommendations: The report contains six general recommendations to address priority issues for the establishment and effective management of MPA's. These include: (1) the establishment and management of MPAs should occur within regimes that provide for integrated management of all uses of the adjacent land and sea areas; (2) increased research and monitoring are required to assist in making MPA management decisions; and (4) international and other support for capacity development in marine management should emphasise the development of training capacity within regions and countries.

Status: not yet available.


22. Australia's ocean age (PMSEC, 1995)

This report was prepared by an independent working group for consideration by the Prime Minister's Science and Engineering Council in late 1995. The report acknowledges the need for a greater understanding of Australia's marine environment and stresses the importance of marine conservation and marine industries to Australia.

Recommendations: This report contains four recommendations including: (1) review the overall policy framework with the aims of promoting a more efficient, targeted use of public and industry science and technology research funds, and access to information; (2) encourage the marine science agencies to develop an integrated science plan; (3) further develop Australia's skills base through a more focused approach to marine-related education and training at the tertiary level; and (4) promote Australia's objectives and priorities by enhancing scientific linkages on marine science and technology in the Asia Pacific region.

Status: not yet available.


23. Audit of Commonwealth fisheries (ANAO, 1996)

This audit examined the efficiency and administrative effectiveness of Commonwealth fisheries management with particular emphasis on Australian Fisheries Management Agency (AFMA). The audit was carried out in accordance with ANAO Auditing Standards. The major findings were that AFMA should; place a high priority on the resolution of jurisdictional issues; ensure that the objectives of Statutory Management Plans and annual strategies are based on ecologically sustainable use and have maximum economic efficiency; improve the quality and availability of fisheries statistics; improve surveillance-compliance systems; and improve performance indicators.

Recommendations: The audit contained 39 recommendations including: (1) AFMA should undertake an assessment of the... Off-shore Constitutional Settlement agreements to identify and prioritise those features that have a risk of reducing its efficient and effective management of Commonwealth fisheries; (6) AFMA should use its legislated objectives as the key objectives in its Corporate Plan; (9) AFMA should... develop a schedule for the conduct of environmental impact assessments for all of its fisheries; (15) AFMA should develop strategies for monitoring and managing the impact of technological change on fishing capacity; and (16) AFMA improve the accuracy of its boat, licences, permits and fishing rights statistics.

Status: not yet available.


24. Reimbursing the future (DEST, 1996)

This report provides guidance on the use of incentive instruments and mechanisms designed to promote the conservation of biological diversity and encourage its ecologically sustainable use. Over 400 people throughout Australia and overseas contributed to this report.

Recommendations: The report contains 91 recommendations concerning topics such as policy, institutional capacity, incentive instruments and financing conservation. These include: (1) Governments develop and implement a plan of action to expand the terrestrial and marine protected areas network; (5) that in the formulation of government development programs, protection of biodiversity is recognised explicitly as a goal that is as important as economic development; (7) that Governments at all levels use and adapt existing administrative structures to include explicit consideration of the protection of biodiversity; and (17) that bioregions be used as the basis on which to develop the information necessary to ensure that ecosystem biodiversity is protected.

Status: not yet available.


25. The last frontier (HRSCPIRRA, 1997)

This report comprehensively examines the recommendations of the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) and the supporting evidence of its performance audit of AFMA's legislative objectives. These issues are addressed in the report. The Committee responsible for the report has also made 44 recommendations on broader issues such as the recreational sector, surveillance and monitoring, accountability and the need for effective national industry leadership.

Recommendations: The recommendations include: (1) AFMA... establish, and periodically review, a consistent naming regime for Commonwealth fisheries; (5) the Commonwealth agree to jurisdictional arrangements negotiated under the Offshore Constitutional Settlement with the States on a fishery by fishery basis; (8) AFMA continues to broaden the membership of Management Advisory Committees; (29) AFMA undertake a phased in installation of VMS [Vessel Monitoring System] in all Commonwealth fisheries; and (41) AFMA involve traditional fishers in the management of Commonwealth fisheries where they are legitimate stakeholders

Status: not yet available.


26. Towards a national science policy (Johnson, 1997)

The AMSA working party prepared this document in response to submissions received from AMSA's membership and from other interested parties. Because most AMSA members are working scientists, the document does not cover the socio-economic aspects of marine policy. The discussion and recommendations represent a consensus of the views of Australian marine scientists and do not necessarily reflect the personal views of any members of the working party.

Recommendations: This report contains 77 recommendations, including: (1) the infrastructural and managerial support of marine environmental research and management... must be better coordinated at a national scale; (3) establish by legislation national guidelines that provide a clear outline of the circumstances under which an EIA/EIS is required; (8) Governments at all levels need to recognise and give immediate consideration to the fundamental importance of adequate baseline data; (20) integrated strategic research programs need to be implemented to establish resource inventories (including biodiversity) and identify key processes in marine ecosystems; and (36) cooperation and communication should be facilitated between research agencies to optimise the cost-effectiveness of research.

Status: not yet available.


4.3 Other reports:

Other reports relevant to this project included:

27. Final Report on Tourism (ESD Working Groups, 1991)

28. Greenhouse Report (ESD Working Groups, 1992)

29. National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development (CofA, 1992)

30. Ships of Shame (House of Representatives Standing Committee on Transport, Communications and Infrastructure, 1992)

31. Environmental Implications of Offshore Oil and Gas Development in Australia—The Findings of an Independent Scientific Review (Swan et al., 1993)

32. National Ecotourism Strategy (Commonwealth of Australia, 1994)

33. Staffing, Structure and Resources Review (Antarctic Division, 1995)

34. Two International Agreements on Tuna (Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, 1996)


5. References:

1. McKinnon, K. R. 1989, Oceans of Wealth? A Report by the Committee on Marine Industries, Science and Technology, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

2. Ecologically Sustainable Development Working Groups 1991, Final Report—Fisheries, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

3. Commonwealth of Australia 1992, The Injured Coastline, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

4. Resource Assessment Commission 1993, Coastal Zone Inquiry—Final Report, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

5a. Zann, L. 1995, Our Sea, Our Future. Major Findings of the State of the Marine Environment Report for Australia, published by the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority for the Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, Canberra.

5b. Zann, L. 1996, The State of the Marine Environment Report for Australia. Technical Summary, published by the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority for the Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, Canberra.

6. State of the Environment Advisory Council 1996, Australia: State of the Environment 1996, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.

7. Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council 1996, National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity, Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, Canberra.

8. Australian Science and Technology Council 1996, Australian Maritime Industries: Priorities in Science and Technology, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

9. Australian Marine Industries and Science Council 1997, Marine Industry Development Strategy, Department of Industry, Science and Tourism, Canberra.

10. Senate Environment, Recreation, Communications and the Arts Reference Committee 1997, Inquiry on Marine Pollution, Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canberra.

11. Australian Science and Technology Council 1990, Environmental Research in Australia: The Issues, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

12. Department of Primary Industries and Energy 1990, Offshore Strategy: Promoting Petroleum Exploration Offshore Australia, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

13. Antarctic Science Advisory Committee 1991, Antarctic Research Priorities for the 1990s: A Review, Department of the Arts, Sport, the Environment and Territories, Canberra.

14. Antarctic Science Advisory Committee 1992, Antarctic Science—The Way Forward, Department of the Arts, Sport, the Environment and Territories, Canberra.

15. Industry Commission 1992, Cost Recovery for Managing Fisheries, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

16. Australian Maritime Safety Authority 1993, Review of the National Plan to Combat Pollution of the Sea by Oil, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

17. Bureau of Resource Sciences 1993, Ballast Water—Ports & Shipping Study, Department of Primary Industries and Energy, Canberra.

18. Senate Standing Committee on Industry, Science, Technology, Transport, Communications and Infrastructure 1993, Fisheries Reviewed, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

19. Whitehouse, J. F. 1993, Managing Multiple Use in the Coastal Zone: A Review of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

20. Working Group on Aquaculture 1994, National Strategy on Aquaculture in Australia, Department of Primary Industries and Energy—Fisheries Policy Branch, Canberra.

21. Kelleher, G., Bleakley, C. & Wells, S. 1995, A Global Representative System of Marine Protected Areas, Environment Department—The World Bank, Washington.

22. Prime Minister's Science and Engineering Council 1995, Australia's Ocean Age: Science and Technology for Managing our Ocean Territory, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

23. Australian National Audit Office 1996, Commonwealth Fisheries Management: Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

24. Biodiversity Unit—Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories 1996, Reimbursing the Future—An Evaluation of Motivational, Voluntary, Price-based, Property-right, and regulatory incentives for the Conservation of Biodiversity, Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, Canberra.

25. House of Representatives Standing Committee on Primary Industries, Resources and Rural and Regional Affairs 1997, Managing Commonwealth Fisheries: The Last Frontier, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

26. Johnson, C. 1997, Toward a National Marine Science Policy for Australia, Australian Marine Sciences Association, Brisbane.

27. Ecologically Sustainable Development Working Groups 1991, Final Report—Tourism, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

28. Ecologically Sustainable Development Working Groups 1992, Greenhouse Report, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

29. Commonwealth of Australia 1992, National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

30. House of Representatives Standing Committee on Transport, Communications and Infrastructure 1992, Ships of Shame, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

31. Swan, J. M., Neff, J. M. and Young, P. S. (eds.) 1993, Environmental Implications of Offshore Oil and Gas Development in Australia—The Findings of an Independent Scientific Review, Australian Petroleum Exploration Association, Sydney.

32. Commonwealth of Australia 1994, National Ecotourism Strategy, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

33. Antarctic Division—Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories 1995, Review of Head Office Staffing and Structure & Resources of the Antarctic Division—1995, Antarctic Division—Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, Hobart.

34. Joint Standing Committee on Treaties 1996, Two International Agreements on Tuna, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

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