Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce

To protect the Great Barrier Reef the Queensland Government has set ambitious targets of reducing nitrogen by up to 80 per cent and sediment by up to 50 per cent by 2025 in key catchments such as the Wet Tropics and Burdekin. The Queensland Government has committed to invest an additional $90 million over five years to secure progress towards the targets through water quality initiatives, scientific research and helping businesses to transition to better environmental practices in the primary production industries.

The Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce was established in May 2015 to determine the best possible approach to achieve these outcomes.

The key objective for the Taskforce was to provide advice to the Queensland Government on how to help ensure that clean water flows from the rivers to the sea to protect the reef for future generations.

The Taskforce produced an Interim Report in December 2015 and, after extensive consultation, delivered and presented its Final Report and recommendations to the Government in May 2016.

View the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce Terms of Reference (PDF, 39K).

Queensland’s Chief Scientist Dr Geoff Garrett AO was chair of the Taskforce.

A full list of the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce members (PDF, 99K) is available to view online.

Listen to Taskforce members talk about their hope for the future of the Great Barrier Reef following the release of the Final Report:

The taskforce met several times.

Read the Current Situation Analysis (PDF, 2.4M) for the Great Barrier Reef which outlined, as at July 2015, the current scientific consensus on reef water quality, current investments, management interventions and progress towards existing water quality and land management targets. This piece of work informed the Taskforce's Interim and Final reports.

As part of the Taskforce’s work, a consortium of experts was commissioned to investigate the policy options that are most likely to be effective in reducing sediment and nitrogen run-off across the Great Barrier Reef catchments.

The results of an earlier study to estimate the costs and effectiveness of reducing nutrient and sediment pollution for a number of improved cane and grazing land management practices were included in the Taskforce’s Interim Report:

Last updated
11 August 2016