Commonwealth islands sustainability initiatives

Lady Elliot Island Ecosystem Resilience Plan cover page

Click on the image to download the Lady Elliot Island Ecosystem Resilience Plan

The Great Barrier Marine Park Authority is taking significant action to enhance the outlook for the Reef and the ecological values on Commonwealth islands, in the face of threats like climate change.

A key initiative in the southern Great Barrier Reef is a multi-year collaborative program to restore native cay vegetation communities on Lady Elliot Island, degraded by decades of guano mining, feral animals and human use since the late 1800s. The Lady Elliot Island Ecosystem Resilience Plan is a two-phased action plan to increase the resilience of the terrestrial systems on the island to the adverse effects of climate change and other ecosystem stressors.

  • Phase 1 focuses on the continued weed and pest management control and the establishment of native vegetation communities.
  • Phase 2 focuses on native cay vegetation maintenance and management adaptation as the cay ecosystems mature and respond to changing climatic factors.

The Australian and Queensland governments are taking further action to support tourism  operators leasing Commonwealth islands to implement best practice sustainability initiatives.

Solar power system at Lady Elliot Island

Solar power system at Lady Elliot Island © Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort

Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort is moving towards 100 percent renewable energy. With joint investment from the resort, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, and the Australian and Queensland governments, over 800 solar panels have been installed to deliver in excess 200 kWh of solar power in recent years. Solar hot water systems, solar powered desalination system, a sewerage treatment plant, composting systems and eco-education make up the resort’s sustainability initiatives.

A number of sustainability initiatives including a 26 kWh remote area solar power system, solar hot water systems, sewerage treatment plant, public composting toilets, and rainwater tanks support operations on Low Isles.