Dr Anthony Lynham


New laws to improve quality of water flowing into the Great Barrier Reef

Natural Resources Innovation Grants

25 July, 2019 –

The Palaszczuk Government is taking action to protect the Great Barrier Reef and the thousands of jobs that it supports.

This is why our Government has passed laws that will improve the quality of water flowing into the Reef – which science shows continues to be a major threat to the Reef’s health.

The Environmental Protection (Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 was passed on 19 September 2019 with the new laws proposed to come into effect on 1 December 2019.

Two scientific reports have been released recently that shows water quality continues to threaten the Reef. This included the Reef Water Quality Report Card 2017 and 2018 – a joint report between the Federal and Queensland Governments, and the Outlook Report, which was released by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

The Report Card contained the latest science on Reef’s water quality and showed that the overall marine condition is poor.

The new laws tackle all land-based sources of water pollution to the Reef – this includes all industrial and agricultural activities that release nutrients and sediment across the six Reef regions (Cape York, Wet Tropics, Burdekin, Mackay Whitsunday, Fitzroy and Burnett Mary).

For the last decade, the Queensland Government has supported agricultural industries to voluntarily improve their practices to help reduce run-off. There are many farmers who are already doing great work to improve practices, but unfortunately, the uptake of these voluntary practices has not been fast enough, and water quality has not improved.

The minimum standards that will apply align with standards that are already approved and accepted by industry.

This legislation is vital – to ensure the Reef and the jobs and economic benefits that it supports are protected now and into the future.

To find out more view the Reef protection regulations factsheet [PDF] or visit visit www.qld.gov.au/environment/agriculture/sustainable-farming/reef/reef-regulations/strengthening-regulations