Australia's marine territory could contribute approximately $100 billion annually to Australia's economy by 2025, according to a report launched today by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, Chris Bowen MP.
Marine Nation 2025 - prepared by the Oceans Policy Science Advisory Group - highlights the enormous potential of Australia's oceans, as well as the challenges and opportunities involved with managing our vast maritime resources.
"Australia's oceans are a critical part of our economy and will play a vital role in our future prosperity," Mr Bowen said.
"With an estimated economic value of around $42 billion in 2009-10, it is critical that we manage our oceans in a sustainable and sensible way.
"Marine Nation 2025 provides a framework to start a national discussion on how we can better benefit from our oceans while preserving their health for future generations."
The report outlines six major challenges facing Australia's marine environment: sovereignty, national security and natural hazards; energy security; food security; biodiversity and ecosystem conservation; climate change; and resource allocation.
"We need to ensure that the management of this national asset is underpinned by sound scientific evidence and advice, with greater research collaboration and appropriate infrastructure capacity," Mr Bowen said.
The Government has made a significant investment in marine science, investing over $387 million in marine and climate infrastructure through the Super Science Marine and Climate Initiative, including $120 million to build a state-of-the-art deep water research vessel to explore marine environments.
The report can be found at www.aims.gov.au/opsag
Media contacts: Mr Bowen's office 02 6277 7580