Gladstone stakeholders join workshop on Reef's future

Published: 01/11/2012

Gladstone community representatives joined others from Cape York to Bundaberg over the weekend to discuss the future management of the Great Barrier Reef.

The two-day workshop is an annual meeting of representatives from 12 Local Marine Advisory Committees  and senior staff from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Gladstone Local Marine Advisory Committee Chair Blue Thomson said there was a strong focus on hearing local perspectives and seeking input into the strategic assessment.

As agreed with the Australian Environment Minister, GBRMPA and Queensland are undertaking this strategic assessment. GBRMPA will identify the values of and risks to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area while the Queensland Government is assessing the adjacent coastal zone.  

“Gladstone like many parts of Queensland is in the midst of unprecedented growth. We need to find a balance between environmental and economic interests,” Mr Thomson said.

“The weekend’s workshop gave me the chance to talk with GBRMPA about the pressures we are facing in Gladstone and also discuss to Reef management issues with people from other regions,” Mr Thomson said.

GBRMPA Chair Russell Reichelt thanked the community representatives for giving up their time to provide valuable feedback and advice on Reef management.

“The delegates represented a wide range of community stakeholders including tour operators, Traditional Owners, farmers, conservationists and fishers.

“They brought a wide range of views and experiences to the workshop and it was great to get their input.

“We hope to bring everyone back together early next year for a final round of briefings and comments prior to release of the draft strategic assessment reports for public comment.”

Other issues discussed at the meeting included inshore biodiversity, the outlook for coastal ecosystems and a proposed heritage strategy for the Great Barrier Reef. They also toured the upgraded Reef Vessel Tracking System facility managed by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

Established in 1999, the Bowen-Burdekin Local Marine Advisory Committee meets five times a year to advise GBRMPA on marine issues and undertake regional environmental projects.

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


Name: GBRMPA Media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846