Central Queensland: Do you want to make a difference to the future of the Reef?

Steve Fisher works for a not-for-profit tourism organisation that coordinates hands-on conservation projects with volunteers.

The organisation’s projects cover from Norfolk Island and New Zealand to the World Heritage-Listed Great Barrier Reef. Volunteers remove marine debris, restore bushland, control weeds and carry out research and recovery programs for threatened species.

Mr Fisher put up his hand to represent tourism on one of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Local Marine Advisory Committees.  

There are 12 Local Marine Advisory Committees along the Queensland coast that advise the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority about all things marine and coastal.

“I firmly believe no single organisation has the expertise, experience or resources to solve the Great Barrier Reef’s conservation challenges alone,” Mr Fisher said.  

“It’s through sharing our knowledge, experiences and resources with each other — and with the community at large — that we’re able to affect real and long-lasting change. That’s why we’re proud to be members of the committee.”  

Nominations for membership for the next committees’ three-year terms are now open.

The committees were created to enable two-way communication between local communities and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Australia’s lead managers for the Reef. They meet five times a year.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority chairman Russell Reichelt welcomes nominations from a broad range of representatives from Queensland coastal communities.

“The Great Barrier Reef is a precious natural icon that we manage on behalf of all Australians and people throughout the world,” he said.

“Queensland coastal communities are important to the future of the Reef — they’re right alongside the Reef and are very interested in its long term-health. I thank them for their willingness to become involved in Reef management.

“People often ask us what they can do to help the Great Barrier Reef. Joining a Local Marine Advisory Committee is a really effective way to make a difference because members provide advice to the marine managers and they can also get involved in local community actions. All actions — big or small — are vital to the future of the Great Barrier Reef.”

Representatives from a range of interest groups are encouraged to apply to ensure the committees are as diverse as possible including fishing, Traditional Owners, tourism, farming, resources, recreation, education, research, conservation and shipping sectors. The Marine Park Authority encourages a mix of backgrounds, experience and expertise and is keen to get more young people on the committees so those aged 18–30 are particularly encouraged to apply.

More information and nomination forms can be found at www.gbrmpa.gov.au or call (07) 4750 0700.   Applications close 19 April 2018.