about us.

Wet Tropics Waterways is proudly independent and
not-for-profit. We are made up of a 5-person
operational team, and a partnership of 50+
organisations who are motivated by a shared vision to
improve the health of our waterways and the quality
of water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef.

our role.

Our partnership is an initiative of the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan.

  • We communicate information to the broader community on waterway health issues to increase knowledge and help drive change.
  • We develop an annual waterway health report card specific to the Wet Tropics.
  • We coordinate the sharing of data and information across a range of stakeholders to identify monitoring gaps and reduce duplication.
  • We use existing frameworks to prioritise data collection and investment into the region for on-ground management activities.
  • We identify long-term trends ensuring scientific integrity, independence and transparency.
  • We promote actions to improve the health of Wet Tropics waterways by building upon and complementing existing efforts.

what we do.

Many organisations in the Wet Tropics invest in a range of ongoing water quality studies and reports. This is the first time there has been a coordinated effort to bring together the extensive but dispersed waterway data sets. We collate, analyse and interpret the data so we can share a comprehensive picture about waterway health in our region.

Our pilot report card was released in 2016 and provided an initial snapshot of our waterway health conditions and a baseline for comparing future changes. Now in its seventh year, the report card continues to improve on monitoring gaps and build a more comprehensive understanding of waterway health and waterway risk.

we also:

  • Promote waterway health projects in our region to key stakeholders and influencers.
  • Provide a bridge between science, government, industry and the wider community.
  • Provide trusted and independent information on waterway health for the Wet Tropics.
  • Provide opportunities to connect, network and share knowledge with organisations and individuals who have an interest in waterway health.
  • Provide and communicate data for researchers, managers and the wider community to contribute to a greater understanding of our waterways.

our team.


james donaldson

Executive Officer

richard hunt

Science Technical Officer
Martine Newman

martine newman

Science Technical Officer
phil laycock

phil laycock

Independent Chair

Our Management Committee is comprised of nine people – an independent Chair, and eight people from Partner organisations who are nominated each year. Their role is to oversee the delivery team.

The delivery team is hosted by Terrain NRM and is comprised of an Executive Officer, a Science Technical Officer, a part-time Project Support Officer and a part-time Communications Officer.

reef report cards.

The Wet Tropics Report Card is part of a network of report cards that monitor progress being made towards the Reef 2050 Long-term Sustainability Plan, Australia’s overarching framework for protecting the Great Barrier Reef until 2050.

Great Barrier Reef Report Card

Regional Report Card

Great Barrier Reef Report Card

The Great Barrier Reef Report Card assesses the combined results of all Reef Plan activities.

The primary source of agricultural data for the Reef Report Card is the Paddock to Reef Integrated Monitoring, Modelling and Reporting Program.

Natural Resource Management bodies, industry organisations, QDAF and other agencies and projects collect farming practice information from farmers who are engaged in Reef programs. Data is collected initially and then following improvements in farm management. This information is pooled by catchment so it is kept anonymous. But it allows the effect of changes on the ground to be assessed.

The results are based on reported improvements and are analysed for an estimate of the annual average reduction in pollutant loads entering the Great Barrier Reef from agriculture.

Obtaining accurate information is vital for us to understand what is happening on the ground so we can tell the story about the impacts of improved farming practices.

Regional Report Cards

Report cards are commonly used in waterway management as a powerful and simple way to communicate science and monitoring results to a broad audience. To be meaningful, report cards need to be fit for purpose, tackling the most important issues for a given area.

This is why we also measure the specific progress we are making within the Wet Tropics region.

The Wet Tropics Report Card means we can track trends in catchment conditions and the health of rivers, estuaries, wetlands and inshore and offshore coastal and marine environments over time.

Importantly, it covers all land uses, not just agriculture. The Wet Tropics Report Card is also a mechanism for unifying the community on waterway health.

The Wet Tropics Report Card is one of five regional waterway health report cards that also include the Townsville Dry Tropics, Mackay Whitsunday, Fitzroy and Gladstone regions.

the partnership.

Wet Tropics Waterways has more than 50 partners and community network members. They are a diverse range of organisations across industry, research, all levels of government, the business sector and community conservation groups.

Partners and community network members are committed to working together to improve the health of waterways flowing to the Great Barrier Reef, and bring a range of skills, knowledge and resources to the table.

The following organisations are partners of Wet Tropics Waterways:

join the partnership.

We can make a difference to the health of our waterways and the Great Barrier Reef if we work together as a community.

If you want to take a leadership role on this high-profile issue, and influence decisions that impact our region’s waterways and reef health, we encourage you to become a partner of Wet Tropics Waterways.

join the community network.

The Wet Tropics Waterways Community Network is open to community-based organisations, not-for-profit groups, Indigenous organisations and small businesses with an interest in protecting the waterways of the Wet Tropics.