Great Barrier Reef Intergovernmental Agreement
The Australian and Queensland governments have been working together for the long-term protection and conservation of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park since its inception in 1975. This cooperative approach was formalised by the Emerald Agreement in 1979 and updated in July 2009 with the Great Barrier Reef Intergovernmental Agreement.
The new Agreement provides a contemporary framework for cooperation between the governments, recognising challenges such as climate change and catchment water quality that were not foreseen at the time of the 1979 Agreement.
The Agreement recognises that key pressures on the Reef—such as climate change impacts, catchment water quality and coastal development—cannot be effectively addressed by either government on their own. It aims to ensure an integrated and collaborative approach is taken by the Australian and Queensland governments to manage marine and land environments within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Forum
The Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Forum oversees the implementation of the Intergovernmental Agreement. This Forum was previously known as the Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Council which was established in 1979 under the Emerald Agreement.
Under a new Ministerial Council system agreed by the Council of Australian Governments (CoAG) on 13 February 2011, the Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Council was discontinued as a formal CoAG Council. However, Ministers agreed to continue to meet outside of the formal CoAG system and from 1 July 2011 the Council has been referred to as the Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Forum.
The Ministerial Forum is comprised of two ministers each from the Australian and Queensland governments with responsibility for matters relating to the environment and marine parks, science, tourism and/or natural resource management. Ministers responsible for mining may not be members. The current members are:
- The Hon Greg Hunt MP – Australian Government Minister for the Environment (Chair)
- TBC – Second Australian Government Minister
- The Hon Andrew Powell MP - Queensland Government Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection
- The Hon Andrew Cripps MP - Queensland Government Minister for Natural Resources.
- Meeting outcomes are reported in the Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Council Communiqué.
The Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Forum Secretariat can be contacted as follows:
Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Forum Secretariat
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
If you're heading out on the water, don't forget your free Zoning Map so you know where you can go and what you can do.
The Great Barrier Reef is a hive of activity. If you're lucky enough to see a humpback whale from May to September, make sure you keep a safe distance.
We're delighted to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park's World Heritage listing.
Visit our Great Barrier Reef and discover its amazing plants, animals and habitats. There are a range of tourism experiences on offer.
Everyone has a role to play in protecting our Great Barrier Reef. Find out what you can do to help protect this Great Australian icon.
If you see sick, dead or stranded marine animals please call RSPCA QLD 1300 ANIMAL
(1300 264 625)
A Vulnerability Assessment: of the issues that could have far-reaching consequences for the Great Barrier Reef.
Current Conditions: Environmental and climatic forecasts for the Great Barrier Reef