The EPBC Act enhances the management and protection of the Great Barrier Reef. Listed as a World Heritage Area, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem, supporting an abundant array of plants and animals. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 established a marine park around the Great Barrier Reef in 1975. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, stretched along the coast of Queensland, is about 344,400 square kilometres.
- Great Barrier Reef
- Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
- World Heritage Area: The Great Barrier Reef
Protecting the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, along with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, use permits to ensure the conservation, reduce impacts and monitor activities upon the reef.
Since 25 November 2009, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is recognised as a matter of national environmental significance, which means it is protected under the EPBC Act.
Consequently, an activity will need to be referred to the federal environment minister if it is likely to have a significant impact on:
- the environment, if the activity is within the marine park
- the environment of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park or other nationally protected matters if the activity is outside the marine park.
Activities within the marine park may also require a permit from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.