Reef Guardian Council
Following the success of the Reef Guardian Schools program, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has developed the Reef Guardian Council program.
This program is designed to recognise and promote the important role of local government in protecting the Great Barrier Reef. Mackay Regional Council became a Reef Guardian Council in 2009.
The objective is to raise awareness and encourage best environmental practice in local government activities, while recognising that the effective protection and management of the Great Barrier Reef, requires partnerships at all levels of government, industry and the community.
The objectives of the Reef Guardian Council program are to:
- Develop a mutually beneficial partnership between the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and local government bodies.
- Recognise and foster environmental stewardship for the Great Barrier Reef from local government and the general community.
- Raise awareness and encourage best management practice in local government activities, while recognising that effective protection and management of the Great Barrier Reef requires partnerships at all levels of government and the community.
- Promote and advocate local government actions in natural resource management.
- Facilitate information sharing and exchange to improve local government capacity.
Participating councils are from as far south as Bundaberg to Cooktown in the north and equate to 317,271km² with a combined population of more than 890,000.
Participating Reef Guardian Councils aim to improve the health and resilience of the Reef through the following initiatives:
- Water management - waterways rehabilitation, water monitoring, urban stormwater treatment, wastewater and trade waste treatment.
- Waste management - waste avoidance, waste reuse and recycling, and recovery of energy
- Land 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 development of partnerships.
For more information about the Reef Guardian programs go to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authoritiy website.