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GBRMPA GOVERANCE REVIEW

Published: Tuesday, 7 March 2017

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The Australian Government is conducting a review of governance of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. The Review will help ensure the institutions supporting the health and resilience of the Reef are strong and continue to evolve.

Governance arrangements for the Authority were last considered in 2006 as part of the review of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act and it is important these are examined to ensure they continue to serve the best interests of the Reef. The 2006 Review noted that governance arrangements for the Authority will be shaped by the changing needs of the Reef.

In October this year Dr Russell Reichelt will conclude his second five year term as Chairperson and CEO of the Authority. He is not seeking a third term. The Government acknowledges Dr Reichelt’s significant contribution and leadership which has seen the Authority:

• Complete the first ever Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report in 2009, and a second in 2014;
• Develop the Great Barrier Reef Region Strategic Assessment;
• Contribute to the development of the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan; and
• Continue to be a world leader in Reef management.

The Australian Government considers this provides an opportunity to review whether the arrangements governing the operation of the Authority’s board and Chairperson/CEO continue to serve the best interests of the Reef.

The Authority is central to the Federal Government’s commitment to protecting the Reef. It was established through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 to set up and manage the Marine Park, provide advice to the Minister, conduct research and provide educational, advisory and information services.

The review will be conducted by Dr Wendy Craik, who holds a PhD in Zoology specialising in fish biology, whilst also bringing extensive experience in both the public and private sectors. She is currently Chair of the Climate Change Authority amongst other roles. From 1992 to 1995 she was the head of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, before becoming the Executive Director of the National Farmers Federation from 1995 to 2000. She was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2007 for her service to the natural resource sector and for her contributions to policies affecting rural and regional Australia.

It is timely that the review is conducted to look at the scope of responsibilities and functions of the CEO and the Board. The review will commence immediately and will be complete in May 2017. Consultation will include public submissions and targeted stakeholder meetings. Further information is available at www.environment.gov.au/marine/gbr/authority-governance-review.

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