Fight to protect CQ’s iconic tourist destination strengthens
PROTECTING the Great Barrier Reef appears to be a mission shared by residents and organisations across Central Queensland as local actions continue to ramp up.
In partnership with Capricornia Catchments, Fitzroy Basin Association has this week vowed to join the fight – as the region’s newly-appointed Community Section Plan Leaders.
The new title brings with it a myriad of responsibilities, namely the identification and development of critical projects and practical plans for the Capricorn Coast.
Consultations with the wider-community will reportedly be key to achieving its intended outcomes.
It is hoped through the initiative a renewed battle is developed to combat both the human and environmental dangers posed to the world-heritage listed site.
The appointment also comes just days after Livingstone Shire Council renewed its pledge to ensure the safeguarding of Australia’s iconic tourism destinations.
FBA CEO Elyse Riethmuller welcomed the news, saying it was an opportunity to deliver meaningful positive change, driven by community-led initiatives.
“The Capricorn Coast are fantastic Reef stewards, and we are eager to support furthering the visions and capacity of the community.”
Capricornia Catchments projects officer Shelly McArdle noted community-based protective measures continued to evolve – setting up potentially positive outcomes for future generations.
“We have so many people in the community that are working to conserve the ecological and cultural values of our coastal and marine environment,” she said.
“As a team, our organisations are excited to support and inspire the community in their ambitious goals to make an enduring and meaningful impact on the Reef.”
Anna Marsden, managing director of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation said the site was an irreplaceable ecosystem which required community support to ensure its survival.
She said the reef continually faced a growing combination of threats – climate change and increasing water temperatures some of its biggest – which affected coral health.
“That means we have to step up our response. We’re already making an impact, but there is a lot more to be done to save our Reef and its marine life.”
Regional communities are at the forefront of on-ground and in-water efforts to protect the Great Barrier Reef, Ms Marsden said, adding the plans would enable growth of local Reef protection actions.
The Great Barrier Reef Foundation’s Community Action Plan project is funded by the partnership with the Australian Government’s Reef Trust.