Naming of Reefs and Undersea Geographic Features
What role does the Marine Park Authority play in the naming of reefs?
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) is a party to a Tripartite Agreement process for the naming of reefs and other tidal features within the area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The agreement was entered into during the 1980s and the three parties that adhere to the Agreement are the GBRMPA, the Royal Australian Navy - Australian Hydrographic Office (AHO) and the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM). It is understood that the agreement was deemed necessary because of the often ambiguous and overlapping roles between State and Commonwealth agencies in relation to the naming of undersea geographic features within the Marine Park. A Memorandum of Understanding has been developed to formalise the process and principles involved in reef naming.
Each State and Territory in Australia has developed legislative or regulatory procedures for the systematic approval and recording of place names or features which fall within their jurisdiction. For example, in Queensland the process to name a place is formalised under the Place Names Act 1994 (Qld) (“PN Act”). There was no similar Commonwealth legislation relating to the naming of geographic features in areas specifically within Commonwealth jurisdiction.
At the Commonwealth level, the recording of place names is the responsibility of the Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ICSM) and more particularly its subcommittee, the Committee for Geographic Names in Australasia (CGNA). Both ICSM and CGNA have as their members, representatives of the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments, the Australian Defence Force, including the Australian Hydrographic Office (AHO), and relevant New Zealand agencies. CGNA, with the assistance of the National Mapping Division of Geoscience Australia, produces the Gazetteer of Australia.
The Gazetteer of Australia is a compilation of geographic names of Australia provided by the members of the CGNA. It contains place names derived from the official place name gazetteers in each Australian State and Territory and offshore undersea feature names maintained by the AHO. Within the Gazetteer of Australia, unapproved place and feature names are also maintained. Reef names occur within this category. Unapproved place and feature names have eventuated through the Tripartite Agreement process as opposed to being formalised under the relevant State Act.
What is the Committee of Geographical Names of Australasia (CGNA)?
The Committee for Geographical Names in Australasia (CGNA) was formed in 1984 to provide a coordinating role in Australian place naming activities. CGNA was established within ICSM in 1993. Representation on CGNA comes from the Australian State / Territory Geographical Names Boards, New Zealand and other individuals with an interest on nomenclature. In 1998 New Zealand was formally welcomed as a full participating member of CGNA and the Committee became the 'Committee for Geographical Names in Australasia (CGNA)'. Macquarie University also joined CGNA in 1999 to help foster a strong working relationship during the development of the National Place Names Project.
Summary of names accepted under the Tripartite Agreement
||Date of Approval
|Virginia Chadwick Reef
||23 April 2010
|Vicki Harriott Reef||15-070||MPZ 5||1 August 2009|
|Ron Isbel Reef
||1 August 2009
|Isobel Bennett Reef||21-505||MPZ 14||13 October 2008|
|Perkins Reef||21-274||MPZ 14||1 November 2007|
|Mullers Reef||21-173||MPZ 13||1 November 2007|
|Callum Shoal||20-1271||MPZ 10 & MPZ 11||1 November 2007|
|Peter Reef||13-055||MPZ 3
||1 November 2007|
||6 October 2005|
|Nancy Foster Reef||21-131||MPZ 13
||2 February 2005|
||MPZ 7 & MPZ 8
||14 July 2003|
||14 July 2003|
||(Banfield Reef (South) 18-105,
Saville- Kent Reef 18-099 and
Judith Wright Reef 18-101)
|| 18 April 2001
|Bandjin Reefs||(Barnett Patches 18-019,
Duncan Reef 18-020,
Moss Reef 17-068,
Reg Ward Reef 18-017
and 4 unnamed reefs)
|MPZ 7 & MPZ 8|| 20 February 2001
||6 December 2000
||6 December 2000
||29 August 2000
||MPZ 10 (not shown on map)
||25 November 1999
||22 July 1999
||1 June 1999
||1 June 1999|
|Rachel Carson Reef
||12 December 1997|
Who to contact to propose a reef nameContact the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
Phone: +61 7 4750 0700
Fax: +61 7 4772 6093
Email: Spatial Data Centre
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