Consultation open on John Brewer Reef
Allowing multiple users to continue to use John Brewer Reef while maintaining the site’s natural, cultural and social values is a key focus of the draft site plan for John Brewer Reef, offshore Townsville. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s assistant director of planning Sally Harman said the draft plan proposes new management arrangements to ensure the site continues to be enjoyed by everyone, It was prepared after close consultation with Traditional owners, Museum of Underwater Art and regular users of the site. “John Brewer Reef is a large coral reef north-east of Townsville and is a favourite spot for many of the city’s residents,” Ms Harman said. “The Authority has worked closely with representatives from Manbarra Peoples from Palm Island as well as other stakeholders including tourism operators and recreational, commercial fishers and the Museum of Underwater Art. “We have taken on board their feedback and these discussions have helped inform the development of the draft plan. “To help us achieve this balance the Authority is proposing a small, structure free area, a limit on the number of private moorings and an upper limit for tourism visitation. “I encourage anyone interested to review the draft plan and provide comment.” Richard Cassady, a Traditional Owner and representative from the Manbarra Elders Counsel said John Brewer Reef is part of the Manbarra stingray dreaming story. Through this dreaming story there is a cultural responsibility to care for our land and sea country. In this day and age this means engaging with the Authority through this site planning process. “The draft plan helps us to maintain the area’s cultural values and that’s really important to us.” The draft site plan is open for public comment until 21 December 2020. Documents and information on how to submit comments are available on the Marine Park Authority’s website at www.gbrmpa.gov.au. Following public consultation, all submissions will be reviewed and the site plan finalised.