Reef Guardian Councils

The Reef Guardian Council program showcases environmentally sustainable practices undertaken by councils in the Great Barrier Reef catchment.

The program recognises the effective management and protection of the Reef requires a coordinated effort from industries, communities and all levels of government.

These councils are working together to protect and conserve the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park through activities that improve the health and resilience of the Reef.

Many local residents assume their councils only deal with rates, roads and rubbish but Reef Guardian Councils are doing much more than this in an effort to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Reef Guardian Councils undertake environmental initiatives in the following areas:

  • Water management - waterways rehabilitation, water monitoring, urban stormwater treatment, wastewater and trade waste treatment
  • Waste management - waste avoidance, waste reuse and recyclingLand management - vegetation and pest management, resource assessment, erosion control, and land planning and management
  • Climate change - planning and policy, energy and resource efficiency, and community education
  • Community - education, capacity building and developing partnerships.

There are currently 13 councils between Bundaberg and Cooktown in the Reef Guardian Councils program undertaking a range of projects. This covers a 300,000 km2 area and a population of almost 900,000 people.

Increasing numbers of people are expected to move to regional Queensland in the coming years for lifestyle changes or employment.

Reef Guardian Councils have an important role in planning for sustainable population growth, approving environmentally sound developments, and preparing the community for climate change impacts.

To find out more about how to join the program contact the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Reef Guardian Participant Interviews

Image of Reef Guardian Council Participant



Reef Guardian interview with Vern Veitch from Townsville City Council


Image of Reef Guardian Council Participant



Reef Guardian interview with Bill Shannon from Cassowary Coast Regional Council



  • Reef Guardian Council

    Reef Guardian Council Burdekin staff planting vegitation

    Reef Guardian councils across the Great Barrier Reef catchment are demonstrating Reef protection and management. Watch the commercial.