The Reef Guardian Councils programme has been developed by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority as a vehicle for engendering community change to promote Great Barrier Reef protection through education, information sharing and involvement in on-ground actions. The programme focuses on improving land management practices and water quality in the Great Barrier Reef catchment. It centres on what councils are already doing under five categories: waste, water, land management, community involvement and climate change.
The Reef Guardian Councils programme provides benefits to Councils and their communities, including:
Strengthened local economies;
Protection of lifestyles and incomes;
Promotion of Council’s environmental efforts;
Exposure to new and innovative other ideas from other communities;
Improved environment and beautification of living space (e.g. better water, more trees); and
Leverage for external endorsement, promotion, funding and/or marketing.
Livingstone Shire Council was on the Steering Committee which consequently developed the Reef Guardian Councils programme in the early 2000’s. Livingstone Shire Council participated as an inaugural member council in the programme from 2007 to 2008 and re-joined the programme in its own right in February 2014 following de-amalgamation from Rockhampton Regional Council.
It is a requirement of the programme that Councils develop an annual Action Plan which provides details on all of the actions Council will undertake during the financial year which contribute to Great Barrier Reef protection. These actions fall under the following categories: Climate Change, Land Management, Water Management, Waste Management and Community. Livingstone Shire Council has now developed 5 Action Plans since de-amalgamation including the current 2017/18 plan, which is attached above.