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The Albanese Labor Government is today announcing $17.48 million for council-led projects that will contribute to the protection and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.

Nineteen councils across Reef catchments in Queensland will deliver a range of shovel-ready projects under the Reef Guardian Councils program that support Reef protection and restoration activities. Activities include improving riparian, catchment and wetland habitats, reducing impact of threats such as feral species, and reducing carbon emissions.

Projects will bring immediate benefits to the environment, support delivery of the Reef 2050 Plan, and increase local community stewardship and participation in Reef protection activities, including with First Nations people.

The Reef Guardian Councils program is a partnership between local governments and the Australian Government’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority which recognises community collaboration is central to better managing the Reef and surrounding regions.

Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek:

We are committed to protecting our precious Great Barrier Reef and supporting the 64,000 jobs that depend on it.

“Protecting and restoring the Great Barrier Reef requires all levels of government and communities to work together.

“This funding will support local governments across Queensland to do fantastic projects like controlling feral pigs, reducing sediment run-off, restoring habitat, removing marine debris and clean energy upgrades.”

Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef, Senator Nita Green:

“Reef Guardian Councils, whether they are big or small, play an important role in addressing climate change and improving the health of our Great Barrier Reef.

“There are nineteen councils between Bundaberg and Cooktown in the Reef Guardian Councils Program, spanning an area of more than 300,000 square kilometres.

“I’m proud to support our Reef Guardian Councils to deliver local, practical projects right along the coast and in our Reef catchments that will make a real difference to their communities, while also contribute to improving the health of the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef system in the world.”

Douglas Shire Mayor Lisa Scomazzon:

“The Douglas Shire has been a proud member of the Reef Guardian Council Program since 2014 and we are delighted that this money has been made available to us.

“Trapping feral pigs and capturing the sun – we’ll be spending the money on a variety of projects that’ll reduce our impact on the environment.

“We’ll be installing solar panels across six Council facilities, including a 99.9-kilowatt system on the Mossman Water Treatment Plant, which’ll reduce our carbon emissions.

“Feral pigs cause extensive damage across the shire so by reducing their numbers in a baiting and trapping program we’ll be reducing sediment run off to the Great Barrier Reef.

“Our region is where the rainforest meets the reef and our reputation as an eco-tourism destination depends on a healthy Great Barrier Reef.”

Douglas Shire projects 

  • ‘Erosion sediment control and stormwater education and compliance program’ – support both Council and the Construction Industry in implementing erosion sediment control (ESC) and stormwater education and compliance program.
  • ‘Wastewater Treatment System Improvement and Education Pilot Program’ – identify groundwater levels and conduct ground water monitoring in Douglas Shire’s non-sewered coastal communities to ensure only suitable On-site Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS), that won’t contaminate groundwater or stormwater and, that meet the Queensland Plumbing and Wastewater Code 2019 and Australian Standard are installed.
  • ‘Solar Installation’ – help the Council manage its climate risks by transitioning to renewable energy source, reducing its energy consumption and carbon footprint.
  • ‘Feral Pig Control program’ – Integrated and coordinated approach to feral pig management to protect urban and natural waterways from erosion, sediment and pathogen run off, vegetation damage, and minimise impacts to marine plants and animals.
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