Communities: Connecting with the ocean
The South-east Regional Marine Plan
National Oceans Office, 2002
ISBN 1 8770 4308 7
About the report
This report seeks to identify the values and aspirations of the community living within 50 km of the coast of the South-east Marine Region, and of national and regional conservation groups.
The principles of Australia's Oceans Policy seek to bring together the social, economic and environmental aspects of decision making. Community values and aspirations will be identified as a means of informing the development of the South-east Regional Marine Plan.
The coastal community of the Region is home to approximately 1.4 million people. Not surprisingly, their socio-economic characteristics are diverse. Overall, the Region's annual population growth is about half the national average. Coastal communities to the west of a line drawn from Melbourne and Hobart, tend to be doing better than those to the east, as is reflected in unemployment, which tends to be higher, and lower average weekly household incomes than in the west of the Region.
Overall, the assessment shows that the community highly values environmental sustainability, biodiversity and the use of resources to secure future sustainable economic benefits. Community members express strong support for more policing of the resources of the Region, and improving knowledge of the Region and its resources through more funding for science. Participants also request more input into the decision-making processes and management, and an acknowledgment of local expertise by government.
Generally, the community has little knowledge of the South-east Marine Region and the current planning processes. However, a desire for more education on these topics was regularly expressed.