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The Great Barrier Reef is recognised as one of the world’s best managed coral reef ecosystems. It is our great privilege and responsibility to conserve and enhance the resilience of this unique and special place.

Together with the Traditional Owner groups of the southern Great Barrier Reef, we have embarked on a new chapter in marine park management by developing a Southern Plan of Management for the area south of approximately Midge Point to the southern boundary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (the Marine Park). 


This Plan of Management aims to safeguard all values of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park while allowing for multiple uses in a sustainable manner, reducing conflicts among users and increasing the resilience of the Reef in light of climate change impacts. Through the planning process, we will identify actions and strategies we all can take to conserve, restore and enhance the values of the Great Barrier Reef.  

Collaboration is crucial for a successful Plan of Management. Traditional Owners, industry, government and of course the wider community all have an important role to play. Community input will help us understand the region's values and threats, and so that these values can be managed holistically.

The Queensland Department of Environment, Science and Innovation (through the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service) is collaborating with the Reef Authority so that the Plan is complementary with management of the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park (State) and island national parks.

The Plan will align with the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, which is Australia’s over-arching strategy for managing threats to the Reef, including climate change, poor water quality, coastal development and direct human use.

Diagram marine park use

Have your say

We invite you to play an essential role in shaping the future management of the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

We need your input and expertise to identify values that are under threat, consider unique and special places, and learn about what you value most in the Marine Park.

  • We want to know:
  • how you use the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and what it means to you?
  • what are your unique and special places and values?
  • in light of climate change, water quality impacts and population growth, what strategies should be considered to protect restore and enhance values of the Marine Park into the future?

Join us in this collaborative effort to conserve and enhance the resilience of Great Barrier Reef for future generations. Your voice matters, and together, we can make a meaningful difference.

The Southern Plan of Management public consultation period will be open for three months from 19 March 2024 and closes on 19 June 2024.

How to get involved

Written comments  

Written comments can be provided via letter and email, and all forms will be considered a proper submission on the development of a new Plan of Management.


Postal address:
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
Attn.: Assistant Director – Spatial Planning
PO Box 1379
Townsville Queensland 4810

Community drop-in sessions

Attend one of the community drop-in sessions during the public consultation phase to discuss the Southern Plan of Management. Details: Dates and locations to be advised.

Online submission/survey

An online survey can be completed. This survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. 

Have your say

The Southern Plan of Management drafting process

The Southern Plan of Management drafting process is expected to take two to three years to complete. The first round of public consultation began on 19 March 2024 and will end 19 June 2024.

Figure depicting timeline of Southern POM consultations

Frequently asked questions

A Plan of Management is a legislative document under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 to conserve the Marine Park’s values, provide for multiple uses and minimise user conflicts. A Plan of Management can be area or species based and is a key management tool used in the Marine Park.

The southern part of the Great Barrier Reef contains many special and unique values including Traditional Owner cultural values, hundreds (and a diversity) of coral reefs, various species of fish, turtle, dugong, seabird and shorebirds and provides for a range of experiences.

Over time, including during COVID, the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef (as well as along the entire Great Barrier Reef) has seen increasing pressure from various uses (e.g. recreation, tourism, fishing), downstream impacts (e.g. to do with catchment run-off and coastal development) as well as the universal impacts of climate change.  The Southern Plan of Management (southern POM) is needed to address specific conservation and management issues in the southern region of the Great Barrier Reef, considering its unique environmental and cultural factors.

Together with Traditional Owner groups of the Southern Great Barrier Reef and in collaboration with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, the Reef Authority is developing a new Southern Plan of Management for the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef (the entire Great Barrier Reef Marine Park just south of Midge Point).

The Southern Planning Area encompasses the full extent of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park just south of Midge Point (most of the Mackay/Capricorn Management Area), except for a small area at the northern boundary where the boundary follows the Yuwi Native Title Determination boundary and then joins up with the Mackay/Capricorn Management Area boundary. Refer Map.

There will be two phases of public consultation: Phase 1 - Public Notice to propose a Plan of Management and Phase 2 - comments on the draft Plan. These phases provide opportunities for the community to share their views and concerns.

During Phase 1, input on how the Marine Park is used, what aspects are valued, and what threats are perceived will be welcomed. In Phase 2, feedback on the draft plan's content and provisions will be sought.

The feedback gathered during public consultations will be considered and used to refine the Southern POM. It will also inform updates to existing management plans for the entire Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

The development of the Southern POM is expected to take two to three years, as it involves extensive research, stakeholder engagement, and legal considerations.

The Southern POM will a) improve protection and conservation of values, b) provide for sustainable use, c) manage conflicts, and d) develop strategies to enhance resilience.

To stay updated on the Southern POM's development and opportunities for public engagement, you can visit the Southern POM specific webpage on This page will include information on how to provide comments on the proposal to prepare a Plan of Management. Comments will be welcome in many formats convenient to everyone.

Updated 19 Apr 2024
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