Reef Advisory Committees

We're advised on Great Barrier Reef Marine Park management issues through consultation with competency-based committees — known as Reef Advisory Committees.

First established in 1999, our Reef Advisory Committees comprise a cross-section of stakeholder interests with expertise and experience in relevant areas.

The fourth term of membership concluded on 31 December 2013, and we're reviewing the structure and membership of new Reef Advisory Committees.

On 30 April 2014, at Marine Park Authority Board meeting 231 (Decision No. 2014-231-7), the Board established the Tourism Reef Advisory Committee and appointed the membership. The three-year term will expire on 31 December 2017.

Details of other new Reef Advisory Committees will be made available as each is established and the membership appointed.


Members are appointed as a representative of a particular group or sector (e.g. industry, recreation, government) or for their linkages to Traditional Owner groups from along the Great Barrier Reef coast.

The Board of the Marine Park Authority appoints members of the Reef Advisory Committees for a term of three years, and members are eligible for reappointment.

Each of the Reef Advisory Committees is supported by the relevant Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority General Manager and Director who attend meetings. 


A key role for the Reef Advisory Committees is to advise us on actions that can be taken to address the risks to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park identified in the Great Barrier Reef Region Strategic Assessment Report, the Great Barrier Reef Region Program Report, and the 2014 Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report.

The Reef Advisory Committees work closely with our staff to provide advice on operational issues and to assist in the development of policy and strategic direction in the management of the Marine Park.

All members are encouraged to adopt a broad perspective on the issues addressed, mindful of our agency's objectives and corporate priorities.

Each Reef Advisory Committee meets two to three times during a financial year on dates confirmed by the committees at the end of each preceding meeting. Meetings are generally held in Townsville, north Queensland.

Charter and terms of reference

The Charter of Operation for the Reef Advisory Committees is being updated. The revised Charter of Operation will be submitted to the Marine Park Authority Board for endorsement.

The charter sets out the procedures by which the committees function, including reporting requirements, members’ responsibilities, attendance, the relationship between the Reef Advisory Committees and our other committees, and the support provided by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Terms of reference are developed, defining the vision, objectives, scope and deliverables of each individual Reef Advisory Committee.

The terms of reference identify ways in which each committee can advise us on matters in order to build a greater understanding of issues relating to the management of the Marine Park, including conservation, ecologically sustainable use and Traditional Owner issues.

Terms of reference will be developed for each new Reef Advisory Committee established and will be submitted to the Marine Park Authority Board for endorsement, as they become available.


A report is prepared after each Reef Advisory Committee meeting, summarising the major issues discussed at that meeting.

The report informs our other advisory committees - the Local Marine Advisory Committees - and the broader community of the Reef Advisory Committees' business.

It is distributed to members of other Reef Advisory Committees, and is the means by which members can on-forward to their 'constituents' information discussed at a Reef Advisory Committee meeting.

Summary reports produced to date: