TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — My question is for the Minister for
Environment and Climate Change, Gavin Jennings. Can the minister inform the
house of how the Brumby Labor government is helping to promote Victoria’s unique
marine environment to the world?
JENNINGS (Minister for Environment and Climate Change) — I thank Ms Tierney for the
question and for the chance to talk about the opportunity we have taken in
Victoria — Parks Victoria has led the way — to try to make sure that
information about Victoria’s fantastic marine national parks and sanctuaries is
shared with the world.
We hope many millions of people in the future will become
better informed about and immerse themselves in what is the rich splendour of
those marine national parks and sanctuaries, where we have created a habitat for
more than 12 000 species — many of which have never been found in any other
part of the world.
One way in which we are sharing that is by working through the
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the ubiquitous Google
organisation, which actually permeates all aspects of human endeavour and global
knowledge. They have joined forces to create marine environment web-based
opportunities for people around the globe. That partnership was cemented in
Barcelona. If it were not for my very important ministerial responsibilities
here, which I am hoping to demonstrate during the course of the day, I might
have been in Barcelona as part of the IUCN World Conservation Congress at this
moment — and been subject to ridicule about representing the interests of the
state in an international forum.
Nonetheless, that opportunity has not been afforded to me, but
it does not matter, because most importantly members of the global community
will be able to immerse themselves online in the rich splendour of our marine
Victoria is one of the first jurisdictions in the world to
participate in this program. We can be very grateful for the leadership and
initiative shown by Parks Victoria as part of its management responsibilities
for the rich marine national parks and sanctuaries in Victoria. We look forward
to many opportunities to share that splendour and that glory with people
throughout the world.