The Great Barrier Reef Intergovernmental Agreement, signed by the Prime Minister and Queensland Premier, provides a framework for the Australian and Queensland governments to work together to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
The Agreement recognises that key pressures on the Reef—such as climate change impacts, catchment water quality and coastal development—cannot be effectively addressed by either government on their own.
The Agreement has been in place between successive governments for over 40 years, beginning with the Emerald Agreement in 1979. It was updated in 2009 to provide a contemporary framework for cooperation between the governments, recognising challenges such as climate change and catchment water quality that were not foreseen at the time of the 1979 Agreement. An assessment of the implementation of the Agreement is undertaken every five years.
The Agreement was updated in 2015 to reflect the shared vision for the future outlined in the Reef 2050 Plan, and renews the Australian and Queensland governments’ commitment to protecting the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area including its Outstanding Universal Value.
The Agreement is currently being reviewed and a revised Agreement is expected to be finalised by mid-2021.
Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Forum
On 23 October 2020, National Cabinet agreed to a set of reforms to streamline and rationalise former Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Ministerial Councils and Forums. The Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Forum has been disbanded as part of these reforms.
The Australian and Queensland governments remain committed to working together to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
Communiqués and media releases
Meeting outcomes were reported in a Communiqué or Media release.
- 19 November 2019 - Ministers endorse Reef Strategy
- 20 July 2018 - New & improved actions to protect the Great Barrier Reef
- 28 July 2017 - Fast forward on action to preserve the Reef
- 25 November 2016 - World Heritage Centre update on Great Barrier Reef protection
- 15 December 2015 - Ministerial Forum focuses on partnerships and collaboration for the Reef
- 10 June 2015 – Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Forum Joint Media Release
- 12 June 2014 – Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Forum Joint Media Release
- 6 December 2013 - Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Forum Communiqué 6 December 2013 (PDF - 24.51 KB) | (DOCX - 33.16 KB)
- 10 July 2013 - Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Forum Communiqué (PDF - 71.02 KB) | (DOC - 58.5 KB)
- 11 December 2012 - Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Forum Communiqué (PDF - 64 KB) | (Word - 38 KB)
- 12 August 2011 - Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Council Communiqué (PDF-78KB) | (Word-41KB)
- 3 July 2009 - Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Council Communiqué (PDF-73KB) | (RTF-26KB)