As a Reef Guardian Council, Council Cairns Regional Council is actively involved in the protection of the reef and has demonstrated further leadership on this issue by being one of the first Partners to support and join the Wet Tropics Healthy Waterways Partnership.
The Council has been involved in a number of initiatives to improve water quality including management of flood mitigation, upgrading of four wastewater treatment plants and community education programs on water conservation, waste management, litter control and sustainability.
Graham O’Byrne, General Manager of Water & Waste, says that the Wet Tropics Healthy Waterways Partnership is a valuable mechanism for achieving a regional water quality monitoring and reporting framework, which is critical for measuring the success of management initiatives across all the catchments in the region.
“We have been advocating for a collaborative approach involving all levels of government, industry and the community for some time. By having a coordinated approach to this regional issue, any strategies and actions arising from the program will be more effective, better enabling consistency in data collection, analysis and reporting.”
Besides the opportunity to participate in the messaging and information reported on the health of the reef, O’Byrne says there are many benefits to being involved in the Partnership for organisations that are involved in water quality monitoring and reporting throughout the region.
“Our involvement allows us to contribute to reporting indicators and demonstrate to the wider Cairns community our commitment to management efforts to improve urban and estuarine water quality, including our implementation of actions arising from the Reef Guardian Action Plan.
“This is also a valuable opportunity to establish positive working relationships and knowledge sharing with other partner organisations and gain exposure to expert scientific information to enhance our own regime of data collection and analysis. There are potential cost savings associated with rationalising testing and monitoring of waterways, based on what others are contributing,” he said.