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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

11 March 2005

Great Barrier Reef Authority to refocus on community issues


The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today announced further initiatives to improve community involvement in decision-making along the world-renowned Great Barrier Reef coast.

The new initiatives include:

Senator Campbell has already established the Bundaberg/Burnett Local Marine Advisory Committee, which, when combined with the new initiatives create an increased capacity for consultation with the community, including commercial and recreational fishing interests.

The announcement of the new initiatives came as the independent Futureye Report was released today.

"A recent review of GBRMPA consultation activities showed that some sectors of the community felt disenfranchised and disillusioned by the rezoning consultation process and we need to make sure everyone's concerns are heard," Senator Campbell said.

"The Futureye Report noted many strengths but there is always room for improvement, particularly developing practical, local solutions to the challenges facing the Great Barrier Reef coastal communities.

"One proposal is to locate GBRMPA offices in regional centres along the coast to enhance local involvement in decision making and to ensure everyone gets the chance to have their views heard.

"An internal realignment of GBRMPA's staff will also enable staff to better understand social and economic consequences. A new focus on staff training and development, including community engagement and consultation skills for staff, is already underway.

"As has been previously announced, the Government is conducting a review of the Authority's legislation and governance.

"By implementing this regional response we want to build on local knowledge, to offer the best possible management of this wonderful world-renowned Australian icon," Senator Campbell said.

The Futureye Report can be found on the web at www.gbrmpa.gov.au

Media Contact:
Renae Stoikos 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia