New Report Recommends Statewide Tasmanian Marine Authority


A new Independent Marine Estate Authority with whole-of-government oversight of Tasmania’s Ocean management would be established under a new proposal released today by the Australia Institute.

The authority is a central recommendation made in the report, ‘It’s Time: A proposal for a Tasmanian Integrated Marine Estate Act’, responding to the current, once-in-a-generation review of Tasmania’s main marine law, the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995.

The report’s release comes ahead of the Tasmanian Ocean Summit, to be held on Friday 17 November.

Key points:

  • A Tasmanian Integrated Marine Estate Act should establish an independent authority responsible for a state-wide Marine Estate Management Strategy and Marine Spatial Planning.
  • The replacement of Tasmania’s patchwork approach to marine management with an integrated approach.
  • A pathway to resolving conflict around coastal resources and building ecosystem resilience to the impacts of climate change.
  • The use of marine spatial planning, as a well-recognised, effective conflict resolution mechanism.
  • Tasmania’s coastal waters are in trouble, due to climate change and human impacts, making a whole-of-government approach critical.
  • Conflict is escalating over aquaculture impact on Macquarie Harbour and the endangered Maugean skate, highlighting the need for effective resolution mechanisms.

“Tasmania’s coastal waters are in trouble. Tasmanians are already experiencing the degradation of their blue backyards – and how this affects their own wellbeing. With conflict on the rise over coastal resources, integrated management offers solutions to build ecosystem resilience and resolve tensions,” said Eloise Carr, Director of the Australia Institute Tasmania.

“Without change, the situation will only get worse.

“Our key recommendation is the establishment of an Independent Marine Estate Authority, linked into existing government architecture and tasked with orchestrating a whole-of-government approach to ocean management.

“Our recommendations draw on existing Victorian and New South Wales legislation to address the gaps in Tasmania’s existing resource planning and management system. These include recognising Aboriginal peoples’ rights; establishing shared objectives, principles and marine planning; addressing climate change and unsustainable aquaculture practices; and increasing habitat protection.

“The development of a nationwide Sustainable Ocean Plan provides an opportunity for Tasmania to lead states engagement in Australia’s new oceans era, while simultaneously addressing long overdue local reforms.”

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