Environment and Heritage Protection Minister Andrew Powell tomorrow will lay the foundations for the long-term health of Gladstone Harbour and surrounding catchments.
Mr Powell will meet with representatives of industry, Gladstone Regional Council and commonwealth government and research organisations to invite them to join the Queensland Government‚Äôs proposed Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership.
‚ÄúI look forward to working together with the Gladstone region so it can best function as a major industrial centre and port, while maintaining the health of its harbour and ecosystems and also the Great Barrier Reef,‚ÄĚ Mr Powell said.
‚ÄúThe Queensland Government wants to work with the Gladstone community and I call on local organisations to join us as funding partners.
‚ÄúAs a partnership we will ensure an integrated regional approach to improving waterway health and, together, make a long-term investment in the future of Gladstone Harbour where we all have a significant interest.
‚ÄúThe Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership will set in place ongoing monitoring and improvement of Gladstone Harbour and its catchments and will produce and annual report card.
‚ÄúWe will put together a robust and independent scientific panel of experts in water quality and ecosystem health to help better understand how the aquatic ecosystem work functions and how its health and can be maintained and improved.
‚ÄúA coordinated ecosystem health monitoring program is common sense as it removes duplication, allows for improved information sharing, transparency and data quality and helps us to have a better and shared understanding of a complex environment.
‚ÄúQuite simply, it is a more transparent way of operating.
‚ÄúThat is why I am calling on representatives of industry, government, community and research organisations to work together to maintain and improve harbour health,‚ÄĚ Mr Powell said.
Press Release, August 27, 2012; Image: westernbasinportdevelopment