Reef guard action

Article image - Reef guard action Plan to reduce councilís footprint

Cairns Regional Council will introduce a smart monitoring program for urban stormwater to help protect the Great Barrier Reef.

The Urban Stormwater Monitoring program is the result of a recent Federal Government grant through the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

Mayor Bob Manning said, “Council will work in partnership with James Cook University to use smart technology to monitor stormwater quality and develop web-based tools to assist with improving the quality of water being discharged into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.

“This is a major step forward in ensuring that the water that is leaving our urban areas, bound for the ocean, is clean and free from sediments and other pollutants that could cause harm to the health of the reef.”

Council has reaffirmed its commitment to protect the Great Barrier Reef with the endorsement of its Reef Guardian Action Plan 2017-2019.

The Plan highlights steps being taken by Council to reduce its environmental footprint, including installation of one megawatt of solar power and reducing energy and fuel consumption.

“We are on track to achieve a goal that was set in 2010 to reduce Council carbon dioxide emissions by 50 per cent by 2020.

“Given our proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and its importance to our tourism industry, we have a responsibility to protect it from harm.

“It is more important than ever to be aware of our impacts on the reef and to take steps to minimise them.”

The mayor said the Plan was a component of the broader Reef Guardian Program involving 17 councils from Cape York to Bundaberg, covering 300,000 square kilometres.

Other actions currently being undertaken include a crackdown on illegal dumping and providing educational material to schools.
The Reef Guardian Action Plan can be viewed on Council’s website.