Healthy Rivers to Reef

The Mackay-Whitsunday Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership (the Partnership) supports the development of an annual
Mackay-Whitsunday waterway health report card.

The Partnership, which was launched in 2014, has 20 partners  from community, industry, science, tourism, and government including Reef Catchments. Reef Catchments is proud to be the host of the Partnership  in the Mackay Whitsunday region and provides important support for its operations.

The geographic area of the Partnership covers the catchments of the Don, O’Connell, Proserpine, Pioneer and Plane basins, the urban area of Mackay, the ports of Abbot Point, Mackay and Hay Point, marinas, and the coastal marine area.

Map of Healthy Rivers to Reef region in Queensland.

Waterway health check

The Mackay-Whitsunday region has received a full waterway health check, with the October 2016 launch of the region’s first full waterway health report card.

The Mackay-Whitsunday 2015 Report Card provides comprehensive health scores for the region’s major freshwater river basins and estuaries, as well as inshore and offshore marine zones.

With the Mackay-Whitsunday region providing a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, health scores also have wider implications for the future management of the iconic central Reef area.

This year’s report card shows the majority of areas receive Moderate scores (C). A number of areas were flagged as Poor (D), particularly freshwater basins. The offshore marine zone continues to score a Good (B).

These scores indicate the current state of our waterways but most importantly they can now be used to inform management action. They show us where changes need to occur to improve our regional water quality, including some areas that require immediate attention, funding or resources.


Cover of Healthy Rivers to Reef report 2015.The development of the waterway health report card takes a nested approach to reporting and will align and integrate a range of regional monitoring programs.

The report card uses indicators to report on the environmental condition of freshwater basins, estuaries, inshore and offshore marine environments, as well as social, economic, and cultural heritage.

The Partnership draws on existing programs and collaborations, where possible, to ensure as much consistency across Queensland report cards, such as using the Reef Plan Independent Science Panel.

The Partnership endeavours to communicate the results of the report card to the community with transparency and scientific integrity and to support decision-making and innovation in management responses to waterway improvement. Members of the Partnership recognise that more can be achieved by working together than as individuals.

A healthy river.

For more information on the Partnership, the report card, or on becoming a member, contact Healthy Rivers to Reef or visit our website.

Key Contacts

Charlie Morgan of Healthy Rivers to Reef.Charlie Morgan

Position Executive officer – Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership
Phone (07) 4964 6130
Mobile 0457 306 152
E-Mail Charlie Morgan

Emma Carlos.Emma Carlos

Position Technical officer – Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership
Phone (07) 4968 4208
Mobile 0439 308 179
E-Mail Emma Carlos