The Reef Guardian Council program showcases environmentally sustainable practices undertaken by councils in the Great Barrier Reef catchment.

The program recognises the effective management and protection of the Reef requires a coordinated effort from industries, communities and all levels of government.

There are now 17 participating councils, representing a 300,000-square-kilometre area and a population of more than one million people, between Cape York in the north and Bundaberg in the south.

These councils are working together to protect and conserve the Marine Park through activities that improve the health and resilience of the Reef.

Many local residents assume their councils only deal with rates, roads and rubbish but Reef Guardian Councils are doing much more than this in an effort to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Reef Guardian Councils undertake environmental initiatives in the following areas:

  • Water management – waterways rehabilitation, water monitoring, urban storm water treatment, wastewater and trade waste treatment
  • Waste management – waste avoidance, waste reuse and recycling (NQ Waste reduction and Recycling plan)
  • 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 developing partnerships.

Reef Guardian Councils have an important role in planning for sustainable population growth, approving environmentally sound developments, and preparing the community for climate change impacts.

Whether Reef Guardian Councils and their communities are large or small, they are all making continuous improvements to help the Great Barrier Reef.

The Reef Guardian Council Action Plan records the diversity of Council actions and projects that contribute to reef health.  It aligns with Queensland and Australian Government objectives to improve the long-term outlook for the reef.

The Action Plan is reviewed and updated every three years and an annual Highlights Report is produced to show the continuous improvements occurring across a range of Council activities.

You can access the current Action Plan, Highlights Report and Memorandum of Understanding between the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Burdekin Shire Council by using the links below:

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