Mareeba Shire Council will join local governments across Queensland banding together to turn around the health of the Great Barrier Reef.
This week Mareeba became the first Far Northern council to sign up for another term as a Reef Guardian Council.
Mayor Angela Toppin said the Council was committed to taking practical, on-ground action to help the Reef. "While we do not live right beside the Reef, this global icon still plays a very important role in the lives of our residents,” Mayor Toppin said.
“Many of our residents live in the Barron River catchment, and what we do on land can have a direct impact on the Reef.
“It is important that we build Reef health so it is in the best possible condition to cope with impacts like the mass coral bleaching events we have witnessed in recent years.”
Reef Guardian activities achieved by the Council in the past year include a Waste Management Services Strategy which addresses littering and illegal dumping. The Council also adopted a masterplan to revitalise the Bicentennial Lakes, and upgraded a sewer pump station in Kuranda to reduce the risk of pollution entering the Great Barrier Reef.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Assistant Director for Regional Engagement Doon McColl was delighted the Council had signed up to the stewardship program for another four years.
“Over the previous term we built a strong relationship and delivered some great initiatives that help both the Reef and our catchment communities,” Ms McColl said.
“By working together we harness the power of collective action. We expect at least 18 local governments in the Reef catchment will sign up to be Reef Guardians for the next four years.
“These councils are keen to empower their communities to make a difference. It’s a very important and powerful message to send to the rest of the Australia and to world.”
More information on the Reef Guardian Council program can be found on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority website http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/our-work/our-programs-and-projects/reef-guardians/reef-guardian-councils.