Cape York residents provide input into Great Barrier Reef protection

Published: 07/08/2012

Cook Shire Councillor Russell Bowman was elected chair of the Cape York Local Marine Advisory Committee for the next three year term at the committee's first meeting recently.

It is one of 12 committees along the coast from Cape York to Bundaberg that provide input to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) on local marine issues.

GBRMPA Chair Russell Reichelt said committee members would play an essential role in the future management of the Great Barrier Reef.

"We will be looking to these committees for advice on how we achieve a balance between sustainable use and protecting the Reef for the future," he said.

"They will contribute to the strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area that will identify the Reef's values, the threats, and what we need to do to address them."

Mr Bowman, a newly elected local councillor, welcomed the opportunity for the Cape York region to have a voice on Reef issues including drawstring bait netting, pollution and the expected effects of increased shipping in the area.

"The Reef is a critical part of our lifestyle and we need to look after what we have now for the next generation to enjoy," he said.

"Committee members come from diverse backgrounds including primary industries, Indigenous and conservation sectors, recreational fishing and local government.

"I'm confident we'll be able to represent the views of Cape York communities."

The Cape York Local Marine Advisory Committee area covers from the tip of Cape York in the north to the Daintree River in the south.

The new committee includes experienced members who have returned for another three-year term, as well as new members who bring fresh ideas to the table.

Established in 1999, the committees meet five times a year and undertake regional environmental projects.

Committees operate in the Cape York, Douglas, Cairns, Cassowary Coast, Hinchinbrook, Townsville, Bowen-Burdekin, Whitsundays, Mackay, Capricorn Coast, Gladstone and Burnett regions.

Earlier this year, there was a call for residents along the coast to nominate for the committees.

Name: GBRMPA Media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846