Regional report cards
Regional report cards are produced annually by Regional Report Card Partnerships to monitor and report on a range of regional social, economic and environmental conditions. There are 5 regional report card partnerships within the Great Barrier Reef region: Wet Tropics Waterways, Townsville Dry Tropics Partnership for Healthy Waters, Mackay–Whitsunday–Isaac Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership, Fitzroy River Health Partnership and Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership. Each Partnership is a collaboration of organisations including the Australian and Queensland governments, local government; industry; ports; conservation groups; science, tourism, Indigenous and community groups.
As part of their monitoring programs, Regional Report Card Partnerships measure and assess environmental catchment conditions and ecological function of waters within and adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef. Apart from providing an understanding of current water quality and ecosystem health conditions in these regions and trends over time, report card results help inform the development of local management actions to improve waterway health.
Regional Report Card Partnerships use fine scale data to report on ecological condition of regional freshwater, estuarine, inshore marine habitats and offshore reefs. Whilst there are many common indicators monitored across all Partnership regions, some indicators are unique to particular Partnership regions, reflecting locally important issues and the initial rationale for forming those Partnerships. For more information on the range of indicators monitored by different Regional Report Card Partnerships, please refer to the Report Card Explainer.
Regional report cards also include social, economic and cultural indicators. The Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership and Mackay–Whitsunday–Isaac Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership report cards have also included voluntary performance reports on the level of management practice associated with agriculture, urban, ports, heavy industry and aquaculture industries in their region. The assessment method for these indicators is under review and a new means of assessing urban water management practice is being development by the Queensland Government.
While Regional Report Card Partnerships rarely develop and oversee their own management response programs, partner organisations often do so as part of their environmental stewardship. The Mackay–Whitsunday–Isaac Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership has summarised stewardship case study examples linked to its partner organisations for the 2018–19 financial year.