darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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April 4, 2012

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has highlighted the need for ongoing investment in the Gippsland Lakes during a meeting with the Gippsland Coastal Board (GCB).

Mr Chester met with Board Chairperson Helen Martin to discuss the organisation’s priorities in the development of its coastal action plans.

Gippsland Coastal Board is a key component of the facilitation of coastal management in consultation with industry, government and the community.

“The Gippsland Coastal Board is an important organisation and helps to set the strategic direction for the management of one of our greatest assets – our coastal resources, including the Gippsland Lakes,” Mr Chester said.

“Maintaining and enhancing the environmental values of our coastline has a crucial economic aspect. Our natural resources across Gippsland help to attract visitors to our region to participate in a range of activities – from beach combing and fishing to boating, swimming and bird watching.

“People place different values on different aspects of our coast and the Gippsland Coastal Board has an important role to play in developing plans and providing advice on a balanced way to protect that resource for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Although Gippsland Coastal Board does not directly undertake project works, Mr Chester said the meeting provided an opportunity to highlight the need for ongoing funding to protect and enhance the environment of the Gippsland Lakes.

“It’s good to see the State Government has allocated $10 million over three years to enhance the environment of the Gippsland Lakes and its catchment but the Federal Government has not made any ongoing commitment,” Mr Chester said.

“It is a major concern that we have an internationally recognised wetland with no ongoing Federal Government funding and it is an issue I have raised in Canberra on a number of occasions on behalf of the Gippsland community.”

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