In March 2018 the Victorian government asked VEAC to assess the values of Victoria’s marine environment. The assessment will inform a statewide marine and coastal policy and support development of the proposed marine spatial planning framework. The assessment encompasses all State coastal waters, bays and estuaries including the Gippsland Lakes. The purpose of the assessment is to:
• identify current environmental, economic, social and cultural values of Victoria's marine environment, including their spatial distribution where relevant
• identify current and likely future threats to these values
• provide independent advice on future patterns, trends and direction related to existing and emerging uses
• determine a process to systematically classify data and an approach to describe social and economic values and uses of Victoria's marine waters
• provide an inventory of available knowledge and data on existing values, uses and threats and advise on any significant gaps.
Although the terms of reference did not require formal public consultation, VEAC has directly engaged with key technical and sector experts including government departments and public authorities, researchers and data custodians, Traditional Owners, industry associations, marine conservation groups and marine user groups.