Sue Sargent moved to the Bundaberg region in 1997 to lead a citizen science project designed to increase awareness about the local marine environment. It’s a topic she feels passionately about and wanted to contribute to decisions about how the marine environment is managed.
Ms Sargent joined the Burnett Local Marine Advisory Committee when it was first formed in 2005 and has been a member ever since.
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, one of them covers the Burnett region.
Ms Sargent said her involvement has been rewarding.
“After more than a decade, the committee has been receiving and providing advice to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and supporting local coastal and marine initiatives from the Junior Turtle Rangers program to education about marine debris and tag and release fishing to community film nights.
“The strength of the committee is its diversity of views, united by a common cause — the Great Barrier Reef — and the opportunity to learn from each other.”
Nominations for membership for the Burnett Local Marine Advisory Committee’s next three-year term 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.