New chairman appointed to Cairns marine advisory group

Published: 03/04/2013

A senior fisheries and conservation manager has been elected as the new chairman of the Cairns Local Marine Advisory Committee.

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).

Ryan Donnelly, who has a background in tropical fisheries research, management and marine conservation, said he welcomed the opportunity to coordinate community input from the Cairns region into issues affecting the Marine Park.

“This is a timely opportunity given the Australian and Queensland governments are in the process of undertaking a strategic assessment of the entire Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and examining ways to better manage human activities to keep the Reef in a healthy condition,” he said.

“Cairns depends heavily on the Reef, both for its lifestyle and for its economy, so effective management is of great importance to us.

“I look forward to bringing together the various local perspectives and coordinating this input into GBRMPA.”

Mr Donnelly will take over from previous committee chair, Paul Gregory.

Established in 1999, the committee meets five times a year to provide advice to GBRMPA and undertake activities to support the marine environment.

The committee has focused on water quality issues, including a campaign to clean up the urban waterways of Cairns, and lobbied for land-based sewage treatment for the Cairns tourism fleet.

The committee has also produced posters of seagrass beds around Cairns so boaties can avoid disturbing turtles and dugongs feeding in these areas.

Other local marine advisory committees operate in the Cape York, Douglas, Cassowary Coast, Hinchinbrook, Townsville, Bowen-Burdekin, Whitsundays, Mackay, Capricorn Coast, Gladstone and Burnett regions.

Name: GBRMPA Media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846