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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority appointments

Media release
1 September 2008

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Minister for the Environment, Peter Garrett, today announced the appointment of two new members to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and restored Indigenous membership to the body.

“I am pleased to announce the appointments of Ms Melissa George and Mr Russell Beer to the Marine Park Authority,” Mr Garrett said.

“Ms George and Mr Beer will bring valuable skills and experience in managing the long-term protection and ecologically sustainable use of one of our most significant environmental assets – the Great Barrier Reef.

“Ms George has extensive expertise in protected area and natural resource management, as well as in Indigenous matters, and her appointment delivers on the Government's election promise to restore an Indigenous member to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

“Mr Beer practices in the areas of government advisory and commercial law, and has extensive experience in business, legal and corporate advice. With a strong leadership role in Far North Queensland, Mr Beer also brings valuable regional business and community perspectives.”

Melissa George is a Wulgurukaba woman, whose traditional country includes Magnetic Island and the greater Townsville area of North Queensland. Ms George currently chairs the Indigenous Advisory Committee, which advises the Environment Minister under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. She has extensive expertise in cultural heritage, land and sea management and traditional owner and Indigenous community issues.

Russell Beer lives in Cairns and is a partner in a Queensland-wide law firm. He is currently Chairman of Advance Cairns, the peak economic development co-ordination body for Far North Queensland, and is a former member of the Ministerial Advisory Council of the Australian Government's Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility.

Ms George has been appointed for a four-year term and Mr Beer for a three-year term.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is the principal adviser to the Government on the care, development and management of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Commonwealth of Australia