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Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Council meeting

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Issued jointly by the Minister for Home Affairs and Environment and , the Premier of Queensland

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The eighth meeting of the Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Council held in Brisbane today was attended by:

. The Hon. Barry Cohen, Commonwealth Minister for Home Affairs and Environment, as Convenor;

• The Hon. John Brown, Commonwealth Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism;

. The Hon. Joh, Bjelke-Petersen, Premier of Queensland; and . The Hon. Peter McKechnie, Queensland Minister for Tourism, National Parks, Sport and the Arts.

This was the first meeting of Council since the inclusion of the whole of the Great Barrier Reef in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in

October last year when the Townsville and Inshore Southern Sections were declared.

Following declaration of a section of the Marine Park, the Great Barrier

Reef Marine Park Authority is required to prepare, as soon as practicable,

a zoning plan for that section. Council today endorsed the Authority's

five-year program for zoning and implementation of day-to-day management— for the Marine Park, and noted the proposed zoning plan for the Far

Northern Section of the Park which has been released for public comment.

The closing date for receipt of comments is 29 July 1984. The Council

agreed that the Whitsunday area should be in the next major area of the Marine Park to be zoned.

In accordance with previous Council decisions on cost sharing arrange­

ments between the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments for the

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and Queensland national parks and marine

parks within the outer boundaries of the Great Barrier Reef Marine

Park, Council today considered the proposed formal agreement between the

Marine Park Authority and Queensland for Commonwealth funded assets

(buildings) on Heron Island.

These buildings, incorporating accommodation, workshop and store, are

used by the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service for day-to-day

management of the Capricornia Section of the Marine Park and Queensland

national and marine parks within the outer boundary of the Capricornia

Section. ‘

The signing, during the meeting, of the legally enforceable 'Assets

Agreement' between the Authority and the Queensland Government was

undertaken to allow the Authority to pay monies to the Queensland Government for the buildings.

At previous meetings Council had agreed to the desirability of

adopting complementary management regimes for the Great Barrier

Reef Marine Park and Queensland national and marine parks within

the outer boundaries of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

In this context, Council today noted a report on the Queensland Marine Parks Act and associated regulations, and a progress report

on a pilot study in relation to Heron Island on complementary

management plans for the Capricornia Section. Council sought a further report on the pilot sbudy as soon as practicable after the application of Queensland legislation within the outer boundaries

of the Capricornia Section.

In respect of tourism on the Great Barrier Reef, Council agreed

at previous meetings that structures on the Reef should meet

environmental standards and have the approval of Governments. Accordingly, a joint Commonwealth/Queensland officials committee

was established to examine proposals for offshore developments

within the Great Barrier Reef region, taking into account relevant

Commonwealth and Queensland legislation and reporting to Council

on the proposals.

Council today considered a report from the Committee and agreed

that the terms of reference of the Committee be modified so

that the Committee:

. provides a mechanism for the dissemination to members of

information on proposals and developments provided to it by the Authority;

. facilitates procedural co-operation between the two Governments for the assessment and approval of offshore

tourism, research and mariculture developments consistent

with relevant legislation; and

. reports to Council as appropriate.

23 May 1984.