TCC adopts Reef Guardian Action Plan 2020-2024

Date published: 23 March 2022

Townsville City Council is furthering its commitment to working together today for a healthier reef tomorrow with its new Reef Guardian Action Plan 2020 – 2024.

The draft action plan was discussed at this month’s Council Community Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability Committee meeting and was endorsed at today’s Council meeting.

The Reef Guardian Council program was first launched in 2007 and includes 18 member councils covering 300,000 square kilometres. The program is a collaborative stewardship arrangement between Council and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Council Community Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability Committee chairperson Maurie Soars said Council was focused on delivering initiatives that had positive impacts on the region’s environment and economy.

“Townsville is lucky to be on the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef. Council is a leader in the north and it’s essential that we continue to work towards having a healthy reef not just today but well into the future,” Cr Soars said.

“Our Reef Guardian Action Plan includes projects that span across integrated sustainability, climate change, coastal development, land-based run-off, direct use and reef heritage and social values. This creates a holistic approach that takes into consideration the ecological, economic and social impacts our city can have on the reef.”

Cr Soars said some of the projects included in the action plan were already well-known in Townsville, like the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct.

“Lansdown is attracting leading environmentally-friendly companies to establish themselves at the precinct, which will lead to high-value jobs for Townsville locals and significant boosts to the Townsville economy,” he said.

“When we look at how we can shape our future to protect the reef, that includes making sustainable jobs accessible for Townsville locals through programs like the Reef Assist Business Partnership Grant, creating green jobs that will, in turn, help safeguard our waterways and the Great Barrier Reef.

“This work focuses on building a circular economy with reducing costs to Council while protecting the Great Barrier Reef, through transforming weeds into soil and regenerating water quality and wildlife habitat while providing employment opportunities to activate business and not-for-profits and give jobs to underemployed youth and First Nations people.

“Through this work and other sustainability initiatives, Townsville has been recognised as a Global Top 100 Sustainable Destination two years in a row for integrating eco-tourism business opportunities into Council projects and processes. Now it’s up to us to continue this trend not only for our reputation as a city but also to help protect and manage the Great Barrier Reef now and into the future.”

For more information about Council’s work as a Reef Guardian visit Council’s Water page.