The Mackay-Whitsunday Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership (the Partnership) was established in 2014 to produce this report card for the region, which covers from Home Hill in the north to Flaggy Rock Creek in the south, including the freshwater and marine environment (to the eastern boundary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park).
The objectives for the report card are:
- To communicate information effectively and at a relevant scale to the broader community on waterway health issues with scientific integrity, independence and transparency
- To support decision making for management activities and interventions, model outcomes and report on effectiveness of those interventions
- Be specific to the Mackay-Whitsunday region and consistent with other regional waterway report cards including south east Queensland, Gladstone and Fitzroy
- Provide effective, coordinated, strategic and transparent advice to ensure cost effective development of an annual report card and associated catchment improvement solutions
- Consolidate and integrate outputs from ambient and event monitoring programs as well as different modelling platforms
- Provide scientific information that may assist in improving or maintaining the environmental, social and economic values of the Don, Proserpine, O’Connell, Pioneer and Plane basins, rivers and adjacent Great Barrier Reef
- Inform planning and delivery activities of the Partners in response to the findings of the report card
- Provide scientific information to feed into planning activities of natural resource management bodies, councils, and other partners
- Build upon, complement and enhance existing efforts of members
The Role of the Independent Scientific Panel
To ensure the validity of both the assessment methodology and the data used in the pilot report card, review by the Reef Plan Independent Science Panel (ISP) has been included at key points during the development of the report card. Specifically, the ISP has reviewed the assessment methodologies for all data included in the pilot report card. Further details on the assessment methodologies and data can be found in the technical reports, which accompany the pilot report card. Technical reports are available to view and download here.