Mackay-Whitsunday waterway health scores released
The Mackay-Whitsunday region has received a comprehensive waterway health check, with the release of the region’s first full waterway health report card.
The report card provides comprehensive health scores for the region’s major freshwater river basins and estuaries, as well as inshore and offshore marine zones. With the Mackay-Whitsunday region providing a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, health scores also have wider implications for the future management of the iconic central Reef area.
The report card provides the only regionally specific (Mackay-Whitsunday) integrated data available at this scale. Information is assessed by an Independent Science Panel, led by Dr Roger Shaw.
Who We Are
The Mackay-Whitsunday Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership (the Partnership) was consists of 22 partners from community, industry, science, tourism and government. The geographic area of the Partnership covers the catchments of the Don, O’Connell, Proserpine, Pioneer and Plane basins, the urban area of Mackay, the ports of Abbot Point, Mackay and Hay Point, marinas, and the coastal marine area.
The Partnership supports the development of an annual Mackay-Whitsunday report card, which takes a nested approach to reporting and will align and integrate a range of regional monitoring programs. The Partnership is also seeking to take a whole-of-catchment approach to planning, and will integrate management approaches across organisations (e.g. looking at how the Mackay-Whitsunday Water Quality Improvement Plan, Reef Water Quality Protection Plan and the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, and other activities of partners, can help improve waterway health).
The Partnership draws on existing programs and collaborations, where possible, to ensure as much consistency across Queensland report cards, such as using the Reef Plan Independent Science Panel. More detail on how existing programs are being integrated into the Mackay-Whitsunday report card is provided in the Program Design.