Call for comment on water quality protection blueprint for the Great Barrier Reef
September 9, 2017
A draft ‘blueprint’ to improve water quality protections for the Great Barrier Reef has been released by the Queensland Government.
Comments on the Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) for broadening and enhancing reef protection regulations are open until 3 November 2017.
“The release of the RIS follows consultation with key stakeholders that’s been ongoing since August 2016, and broader consultation with the community since the release of the public discussion paper in March 2017,” Mr Miles said.
The Minister for the Great Barrier Reef Steven Miles said the blueprint will help shape any decision the Government makes in moving forward with changes to the existing Reef protection regulations.
“There’s been some great work by business, industry and many landholders in moving to better practices to ensure the long-term health of their business, and the health of waterways, that flow in to the reef.
“The Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce recommendations and the 2017 Scientific Consensus Statement confirm that more action is needed to meet the water quality targets required to improve waterway and reef health.
“We’re responding to this with a range of actions to ensure everyone plays their part - from education programs and incentives and compliance programs, to improved water quality monitoring.
“Our most important tool is broadening and enhancing the existing reef regulations to reduce pollutants from relevant key industries and agriculture across all reef catchments.”
The consultation RIS outlines the costs and benefits for the following proposals:
Setting nutrient and sediment pollution load limits for each reef catchment to target responses for managing risks to water quality.
Providing the ability to apply minimum practice standards targeting nutrient and sediment pollution for key industries in reef catchments.
The requirement for fertilser re-sellers to keep and produce records on request, of nutrient application advice provided to their clients to improve nutrient management outcomes.
Establishing a water quality offset framework that can apply across industry sectors as a measure to manage water quality impacts for new, expanded or intensified development in the context of the new catchment pollution load limits.