Whitsunday residents provide input into Great Barrier Reef protection

Published: 27/07/2012

Local dive instructor Tony Fontes was appointed chair of the Whitsunday Local Marine Advisory Committee for the next three year term at the new committee's first meeting last night.

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 Chairman 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 Fontes welcomed the opportunity for the Whitsunday region to have a voice on Reef issues.

"The Reef is critical to this region from economic, social and cultural perspectives. It is the reason many of us live in this beautiful part of the world," he said. 

"In the Whitsunday region, the Reef is integral to our way of life and sometimes people take for granted how healthy it is. The LMAC gives us a chance to share our local experiences and provide local perspectives to Reef management for its use now and into the future."

The committee members come from diverse backgrounds including the tourism operators, conservation sector, recreational fishing, education and agriculture industry.

"I'm confident we'll be able to represent the views of the Whitsunday community," Mr Fontes said.
Whitsunday LMAC area covers Yeates Creek in the north to Midge Point in the south.
The new committee includes experienced members who have returned for another three-year term, and five 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.

Find out more about the Whitsunday Local Marine Advisory Committee.


Name: GBRMPA Media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846