Great Barrier Reef report

Resilience strategies, opportunities and transition risks


6.2 ADAPTATION AND TRANSITION OF INDUSTRY IN AND AROUND THE REEF Part of ensuring the long term resilience of the Reef may mean some existing industries and development in and around the Reef will need to change their practices, or transition into new businesses. Where resilience strategies impact on the long- term commercial viability of industries and development in and around the Reef, policy approaches will need to consider the interests of those industries, and ensure there is a managed transition. Clarity, transparency and certainty in policy and legislative developments, as well as local engagement will be key.” Strategies implemented include: – Buy-backs of strategic businesses. For example, in 2016 the Queensland government purchased at a cost of AUD 7 million for rehabilitation a 56,000 hectare agricultural property responsible for close to half the sediment runoff to the northern Reef 48 – Grants to carry out works for improving the environmental performance of businesses and industries. For example, funding was granted for works to reduce gully erosion on two Stations in the Normanby region, which had created issues with sediment flows into the Normanby River and northern

6.3 MANAGEMENT OF DEVELOPMENT AND ACTIVITIES IN AND AROUND THE REEF Better planning for resilient development, including anticipating risks such as storm surge and sea level rise, will continue to be a challenge into the future. Efforts in comparable places such as Florida to build regional climate action plans could provide a potential model for action. 54 Examples of resilience projects in Florida include pocket parks to build nature-based flood protection and storm-water management, street elevation works, and redesigning public access to the waterfront. 55 A number of existing regulators and government agencies are responsible for the Reef and its surrounds, including the GBRMPA, Department of Environment and Energy (Commonwealth), Department of Environment and Science (Qld), Australian Maritime Safety Authority, and local Councils along the east coast of Queensland.


Reef. Works were completed on two stations to reduce sediment flow, and rehabilitate native planting, as well as planning for ongoing monitoring. 49 This project created opportunities for local Aboriginal people to gain employment in the works, as well as to then manage the Normanby Station as a going concern 50 – Banning certain activities within the GBR Marine Park World Heritage Area to reduce risk of damage. For example, in August 2018 the Queensland Government restricted transhipping operations to areas that are declared ports and prohibited transhipping outside these areas 51 – Public awareness campaigns for the community and local industry. For example, in 1999, twelve Local Marine Advisory Committees were established along the Reef, and roll our information campaigns and local policies dealing with awareness around marine pollution and fishing 52 Not all adaptation or transition strategies are led by government. For example, in May 2018, in order to preserve habitat for dugongs, WWF Australia purchased and retired the last commercial fishing licence in the Princess Charlotte Bay region north of Cairns, which permitted fishing with nets in that part of the GBR Marine Park. 53

Development and activities in the GBR Marine Park, or which might significantly impact on the GBR Marine Park, is subject to regulation under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 and Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Within the GBR Marine Park, detailed zoning maps apply which specify uses which are prohibited, allowed without a permit, and allowed with a permit. Given this, businesses operating within and near the Reef, including those which have run off into a waterway which feeds into the Reef, should ensure they confirm whether approvals are required for their activities, and manage pollution and other impacts from their activities on the Reef in accordance with any permits or approvals required. Management should be proactive in ensuring that the potential for pollution incidents or other environmental damage is minimised. Penalties of up to AUD 441,000 for a corporation and AUD 88,000 or 7 years imprisonment for an individual apply for carrying out an activity which causes a significant impact on the Reef. Likewise, penalties of up to AUD 2,100,000 for a corporation and AUD 420,000 or up to 3 years imprisonment for an individual apply to a person in charge of a vessel which causes damage, or is likely to cause damage, in the marine park.

48 49 annual-report-2018.pdf 50 normanby-station 51 annual-report-2018.pdf 52 annual-report-2018.pdf 53

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