Townsville residents provide input into Great Barrier Reef protection

Published: 09/08/2012

Sea Turtle Foundation Project Manager Julie Traweek has been elected chair of the Townsville Local Marine Advisory Committee for the group’s new three year term.

The committee is one of 12 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 the Townsville committee recently held its first meeting, and that it 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."

Ms Traweek said she welcomed the opportunity for Townsville to have a voice on Reef issues.

"This region is a perfect microcosm of all the pressures and issues facing the Reef today, due to its mix of agricultural, mining, transport and tourism interests, combined with a fragile ecosystem and rapid population growth," she said.

"The committee is a great opportunity for representatives with all these perspectives to work together and have a say in how we manage our Reef resources.

“I’m confident we will provide valuable input."

The Townsville committee will cover the area between Balgal Beach in the north and the Houghton River in the south.

It includes experienced members who have returned for another three-year term, and three new members who bring fresh perspectives 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