Media Release Fight For Our Reef

Reappointed GBRMPA boss needs to show leadership in critical decade for Reef

December 22, 2023

Newly reappointed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) Chief Executive Officer Joshua Thomas needs to make the most of his tenure in this most critical of decades for the Reef, the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) said after his reappointment was announced today.

AMCS Great Barrier Reef Campaign Manager Lissa Schindler said: “Climate change is the greatest threat to the Reef, and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority needs to provide clear, forthright and scientifically accurate communication about that threat, and the current and future likely impacts on the Reef ecosystem.

“Mr Thomas has been in the position for five years now and needs to show leadership to make an impact on the protection of the Reef in his second tenure, including advocating for greater ambition on climate change and addressing issues threatening the resilience of the Reef, such as unsustainable commercial fisheries, tree clearing and poor water quality.

“The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act provides the authority with great powers to protect the Reef and these need to be utilised to boost the health of the Reef in the face of climate change.

“GBRMPA needs to establish two new expert teams to drastically improve the resilience of the Reef, especially in regard to water quality and fishing pressure on the Reef’s wildlife.

“GBRMPA also needs to improve its engagement and representation with Traditional Owners in co-planning and co-management. It also needs to improve engagement with conservation and community groups and the Queensland Government.”

“The primary objective of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 is to provide for the long-term protection and conservation of the environment, biodiversity and heritage values of the Great Barrier Reef Region. We want to see this at the forefront of every future decision of the reappointed CEO in his new term.”