Have your say on future management of the Great Barrier Reef

Published: 05/12/2013

Mackay residents interested in the future of the Great Barrier Reef are invited to attend a community information session on December 3 to find out how they can have their say on plans for protecting this natural wonder.

The event is an opportunity to find out more about the draft strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, as well as the proposed future management plans for improving its health.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) general manager Bruce Elliot said he would value public input into the reports released earlier this month by the Federal and Queensland governments.

“Coastal communities, in particular, have a real sense of custodianship over the Great Barrier Reef, and they have a first-hand understanding of the many benefits that the Reef provides,” he said.

“From its sheer beauty and rich heritage to its strong tourism and recreational values, the Reef is an integral part of the fabric of many towns and centres.

“The Reef means many things to many different people, which is why this is a great opportunity to have a say on our proposals for reversing the decline in its health.”

The draft comprehensive strategic assessment takes a big picture view of the Great Barrier Reef, including the marine component and its adjacent coastal zone, and examines how natural and heritage values can be protected into the future.

Proposals include a recovery program to restore the health of the Reef, a net benefit policy so that activities produce an overall benefit to its condition, and a focus on cumulative impacts when assessing future development applications.

Representatives from GBRMPA and the Queensland Government will be at the community sessions to answer questions and guide residents on how to make a submission.

The comment period will be open until 31 January 2014 to allow adequate time for the public and other stakeholders to comment.

To book a place at the Mackay community information session, call 07 4951 3454 or email central.region@gbrmpa.gov.au. The session will take place at the Mackay Showgrounds Homestead between 5pm and 8pm.

The strategic assessment and program reports can be viewed at www.reefhaveyoursay.com.au.

Other community information sessions are taking place in November and December in Airlie Beach, Townsville, Cairns, Rockhampton and Gladstone.

Name: GBRMPA Media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846