The Queensland Government has made a number of important commitments in relation to the Great Barrier Reef.
Image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland.
These included the formation of a Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce dedicated to providing advice to the government about how they may be able to meet the government’s ambitious water quality targets to achieve up to an 80 per cent reduction in nitrogen runoff and up to a 50 per cent reduction in sediment runoff from key catchments into the Reef by 2025.
The taskforce was expertise based and harnessed a wide range of knowledge about catchment and land management practices impacting reef water quality.
Queensland’s Chief Scientist Dr Geoff Garrett AO was chair of the taskforce.
The Taskforce produced an Interim Report in December 2015 and, after extensive consultation, delivered and presented its Final Report and recommendations to the Government in May 2016. The Government formally responded in August 2016.
Read more about the Government’s program of actions to implement the Taskforce’s recommendations.
Office of the Great Barrier Reef
The government also formed its first Office of the Great Barrier Reef based in the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. The office implements and coordinates reef management strategies and programs including the Queensland Government’s actions under the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan (Reef 2050 Plan) and the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan.
Other commitments by the Government include:
- a ban on sea dumping of capital dredge spoil within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area
- providing an additional $100 million over five years towards water quality initiatives, scientific research and helping businesses transition to better environmental practices in the primary production and fishing industries
- implementing vegetation protection laws in consultation with landowners to minimise damaging run-off to the reef
- reinstating world-class coastal planning laws
- working with the Australian Government and the International Maritime Organisation to develop a new vessel class which will ensure bulk goods carriers travelling in the World Heritage Area meet stringent safety codes.
The government has already made progress on many of these.