Australia: Government Seeks Public Input on Reef Strategy

There are only two weeks left to provide feedback on the draft Great Barrier Reef Strategic Assessment ensuring the world heritage site remains one of the best managed, well preserved reef systems in the world.

Acting Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Ian Walker said the Strategic Assessment papers have been viewed by more than 5,000 people since the draft strategy was released in November.

The Newman Government is committed to preserving the unique values of the Great Barrier Reef for generations to come,” Mr Walker said.

“The draft Strategic Assessment considers these values, how they are protected now and how they can be preserved into the future through sustainable development of the coastal zone.

There are two parts to the comprehensive strategic assessment – a marine component and a coastal zone component.

“The coastal zone component, led by the Queensland Government, examines the state’s coastal management, planning and development framework and how it provides environmental protection along the coastal zone, adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef.

“Our coastal zone assessment complements the Federal Government’s Strategic Assessment of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to provide a comprehensive assessment as requested by UNESCO.

“The marine component, led by the Australian Government’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, examines the arrangements in place to manage and protect the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area.”

Mr Walker said a series of regional briefings and community information sessions was held along the Queensland coast in November and December 2013 to provide information about the Great Barrier Reef Strategic Assessment.

“Sessions were conducted in Airlie Beach, Townsville, Cairns, Mackay, Rockhampton and Gladstone with 250 community members and stakeholder representatives attending,” he said.

The Newman Government is using better planning systems and policies, such as the draft Queensland Ports Strategy and rigorous assessment processes to ensure this natural wonder of the world is protected for future generations.

People have until 31 January, 2014 to make submissions on the comprehensive strategic assessment reports.

Press Release, January 17, 2014

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