Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership (GHHP) Report Card 2019

Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership (GHHP) Report Card 2019

The Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership (GHHP) is proud to release the Gladstone Harbour Report Card 2019.

The Gladstone Harbour Report Card 2019 was produced with the support of 21 partners, representing community, traditional owners, industry, science, Government and harbour management.

Report cards are a globally recognised method of reporting on waterway health and monitoring changes over time. GHHP has been working for the past twelve months to produce the 2019 report card for the community and stakeholders, rating indicators from Very Poor (E) to Very Good (A).

This report card presents the results of environmental, social, cultural and economic monitoring within Gladstone Harbour and the Gladstone Local Government Area, between July 2018 and June 2019. Information and data used in the report card has been provided by scientific research organisations, universities and specialist consultants overseen by the GHHP Independent Science Panel and the GHHP Science Team.

Overall, the 2019 results were similar to those reported in 2018. Environmental Health overall received a C (Satisfactory), Social and Economic Health both received B’s (Good) and Cultural Health received a C (Satisfactory).

Within the Environment component, the grade for water and sediment quality remained very good (A). The overall score for habitats improved slightly from 2018 owing to an improvement in seagrass which went from a D to a C. The scores for mangroves (C) and coral (E) were similar to 2018. Fish and crabs received a D as a result of poor scores for fish recruitment and mud crabs, offset with fish health receiving a (B).

The Social component grade for 2019 was good (B). Results were consistent with the previous year with community perceptions of harbour usability staying as satisfactory (C), and harbour access and liveability/wellbeing both remaining good (B).

The overall grade for the Cultural component was satisfactory (C). The grade for sense of place remained good (B). This score has changed little in five years and suggests that the community’s expectations of the harbour area are being met. The 2019 score for place attachment was slightly higher than previous year’s, suggesting an increased engagement with and appreciation of the harbour.

The overall Economic grade for 2019 was good (B). Economic performance remains an A, owing to the continued strength of shipping and tourism. However, commercial fishing received a poor score for the fourth consecutive year. Economic stimulus was satisfactory with socio-economic status remaining unchanged from 2018, although employment continued to score poorly. The score for economic value (recreation) was slightly higher than last year with an improved score for recreation fishing. The scores for the remaining Economic indicators were similar to last year.

GHHP Independent Science Panel Chair Professor John Rolfe said, “I’m proud to say that after six years, the 2019 Report Card now has a complete set of indicators and sub-indictors with the inclusion of Fish Health indicator this year.”

Professor Rolfe said that owing to the stability of the cultural heritage indicator no new monitoring was undertaken this year and the scores were derived from 2018 data. “In following years to come, more monitoring will be staggered, so not every indicator will be measured each year. This will reduce costs of monitoring and assessing but also recognises that some indicators are very stable and do not require such regular assessment”, Professor Rolfe said.

The Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch congratulated the partnership on the release of the latest data and results.

“The Queensland Government is pleased to be the major contributor to this partnership, providing $350,000 annually. This demonstrates our ongoing commitment to work with local communities, industry, research groups and business in the Gladstone region to ensure a sustainable harbour and a healthy Great Barrier Reef for future generations to enjoy,” Leeanne said.

The report card will provide more detailed fish health analysis this year. This is one of the longest established report card partnerships which has strong industry involvement.

The GHHP website and technical report contain further information on the grades presented in the 2019 Gladstone Healthy Harbour Report Card and the methods used to determine them. Visit www.ghhp.org.au for further information.

The Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership is seeking feedback from the community and stakeholders on the Gladstone Harbour Report Card 2019 to improve the reporting process for future years. Have your say by emailing info@ghhp.org.au or phone 1800 241 254.

HAVE YOUR SAY

The Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership is seeking feedback from the community and stakeholders on the Gladstone Harbour Report Card 2019 to improve the reporting process for future years. Have your say by emailing info@ghhp.org.au or phone 1800 241 254.