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The Reef Guardian Councils program showcases environmentally sustainable practices local governments undertake in the Great Barrier Reef catchment.

The program recognises the effective management and protection of the Reef requires a coordinated effort from industries, communities and all levels of government.

There are 19 councils between Bundaberg and Cooktown in the Reef Guardian Councils program undertaking various actions to help reduce impacts on the Great Barrier Reef.

This covers an area of more than 300,000 square kilometres and includes approximately one million people.

Climate action for communities

Learn more about how local councils are taking climate action for their communities and the Great Barrier Reef. 

Climate change initiatives snapshot

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has composed a highlight of the actions, both big and small, the 19 Reef Guardian Councils are taking to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Click on the image to download the Reef Guardian Councils climate change initiatives snapshot.

Reef Guardian Councils climate change initiatives snapshot

Reef Guardian Councils Map

Many local residents assume their council only deals with rates, roads and rubbish, but Reef Guardian Councils are doing much more than this in an effort to protect the Great Barrier Reef and ensure its resilience.


  • Reef Guardian Councils undertake environmental initiatives in the following areas:
  • water management - waterways rehabilitation, water monitoring, urban stormwater treatment, wastewater and trade waste treatment
  • waste management - source reduction, waste avoidance, waste reuse and recycling
  • land management - vegetation and pest management, resource assessment, erosion control, and land planning and management
  • climate change - planning and policy, energy and resource efficiency, and community education
  • community - education, capacity building and developing partnerships

Reef Guardian Councils have an important role in planning for sustainable population growth, approving environmentally sound developments, and working to address climate change.

Whether Reef Guardian Councils and their communities are large or small, they are all making continuous improvements to help the Great Barrier Reef.

Reef Guardian Council News

Updated 21 Mar 2023
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