You may recently heard about UNESCO's concern about the level of potential impact and the amount of proposed development in and nearby the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. In lines with this, the Queensland Government will be undertaking the lead role in the coastal component of the strategic assessment for this area. The idea behind the strategic assessment is to determine whether there is areas which could have development proceed, whilst others have higher levels of protection. Specifically, the Commonwealth drive process is to identify potential and actual impacts on matters of national environmental significance (things protected by Commonwealth government legislation) at a strategic level.
The two levels of government involved have determined that they will assess the overall impacts of land use, including cumulative impacts, that have the potential to impact these Commonwealth protected matters (including the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area). This strategic assessment will also determine whether the current regulatory framework adequately protects these issues.
The Queensland State Government is currently seeking comment on the draft terms of reference relating to its responsibilities under this assessment. This draft Terms of Reference (ToR) is now available for review and comment and should be read in conjunction with the strategic assessment fact sheet also available on their website.
This consultation period closes on the 30 April 2012.