The Partnership brings together partners in science, industry, education, agriculture, tourism, fishers, traditional owners, government and the community. The Partnership is developing ways to report on the health of our waterways and Reef, seeking to improve outcomes for our region.
The Queensland and Australian Governments have committed funding to establish the Partnership and assist with the development of annual regional Report Cards.
The Partnership is independently chaired, and supported by a management committee and staff that oversee day-to-day operations.
The Townsville dry tropics region covers a land area of about 134,000km2 and 12,000km2 of sea area. It includes the greater Townsville area and extends north to Crystal Creek and south to Alligator Creek. The sea area includes Cleveland Bay, Magnetic Island and Palm Island.
The term “dry tropics” refers to the low average rainfall range of 500 to 1000mm per year which occurs in short timeframes.
Townsville, Magnetic Island and Palm Island are situated in the dry tropics region of Queensland and represent the largest urban centre adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef. Our community has strong and enduring connections to the water and relies on the numerous freshwater and estuarine systems, and Cleveland Bay, for its world-class experiences in fishing, diving, boating and swimming. It is also an internationally renowned hub for marine and coral reef science, research and investment, and home to the largest general cargo port in Northern Australia.
Working together, we will share data to understand the benefits that our waterways provide and the effect we have on them. This information will help us track improvements over time and help decision makers target expenditure where it is needed most.
The catchment area is bound by Crystal Creek to the north and Cape Cleveland to the south. The inshore areas include the Palm Island group and Magnetic Island. The offshore areas to the edge of the Great Barrier Marine Park boundary are also included in our scope.
The Report Card is due to be launched in April 2019 and will be updated annually.
The Report Card will provide scores on the health of our waterways, giving our community an easier way to understand the overall water health story.
Over time, the Report Card will identify long-term trends and inform the community on actions that will help the Townsville region maintain or improve our scores.
The pilot Report Card will grade waterway health in an A-to-E format, similar to a school report.
Scoring will be based on information about the ecological, cultural, social and economic factors affecting the waterways and Reef in the Townsville region.
The Report Card model has already been successfully rolled out in other regions along the Great Barrier Reef and in South East Queensland. They are a means of delivering complex information to a broad audience and effectively apply science to decision-making and target investment and expenditure where it is needed most.
Not as yet. Compilation of the data is a careful and considered process and results can't be pre-empted until the Report Card is complete.
Our data is sourced from our project partners and includes industry and community data, ports monitoring and existing government-funded monitoring at all levels. It's accuracy is verified by an independent science panel.
In the future we will also include aspects of citizen science to ensure a complete picture of the health of our waters.
We’d like to think forever, but continuity will be based on future funding and the support of our Partners.
Subscribe to our newsletter to receive information on upcoming events, and our Report Card releases.
The newsletter will provide you with information on actions planned or currently underway in our local waterways, and what you can do to help.
There are many individuals and community groups dedicating their time to the protection and improvement of our waterways through activities such as tree plantings and picking up litter. Community members who would like to get involved in protecting their local waterways can take part in waterway health initiatives through their local community or catchment group.
The Reef, our waterways, rivers, estuaries and wetlands play a central role in many aspects of daily life in North Queensland. They underpin many complex ecosystems and are important for Townsville’s productivity and liveability.
One source of information is crucial to guide future decision-making on the health of our waterways and marine environment in a balanced way. The Report Card will communicate the condition of our waterways and the benefits they provide. This is crucial in order to understand where more effort is required, and if waterway health is improving as a result of management actions and investment.
Copyright © 2018 Dry Tropics Partnership for Healthy Waters - All Rights Reserved. Images kindly donated by Tourism and Events Queensland/Khy Orchard; Tourism and Events Queensland/Budd Photography; Tourism and Events Queensland/Achim Wetz; Townsville Enterprise Limited/Megan MacKinnon. All Catchment stories are sourced courtesy of WetlandInfo (wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au).