The Mackay-Whitsunday-Isaac Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership (the Partnership) supports the development of an annual Mackay-Whitsunday-Isaac waterway health report card.
The Partnership, which was launched in 2014, has 30 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.
Waterway health check
The Mackay-Whitsunday-Isaac Report Card provides comprehensive health scores for the region’s major freshwater river basins and estuaries, as well as inshore and offshore marine zones. Results of the annual report card can be viewed on the Partnership’s own interactive website. Waterway scores are available for five consecutive years from 2014 to 2018. The 2019 report card is due in July 2020.
These scores indicate the current state of our waterways but most importantly they can 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.
With the Mackay-Whitsunday-Isaac 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.
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.
The first stewardship report was released in 2019, discussing the management response being undertaken by our partner organisations and the wider community to address waterway health issues in the region.