GLADSTONE recreational fisher Erroll 'Blue' Thomson was elected chair of the Gladstone Local Marine Advisory Committee for the next three year term at the new committee's first meeting recently.
It is one of 12 committees along the coast from Cape York to Bundaberg that provide input to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) on local marine issues.
GBRMPA chairman Russell Reichelt said committee members would play an essential role in the future management of the Great Barrier Reef.
"We will be looking to these committees for advice on how we achieve a balance between sustainable use and protecting the Reef for the future," he said.
"They will contribute to the strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area that will identify the Reef's values, the threats, and what we need to do to address them."
Mr Thomson said he saw the committee as a way for the Gladstone region to have a voice on Reef issues.
"Development, the environment and the Reef are hot topics right now in Gladstone. It's important that we use the committee to get our local concerns and issues heard."
The committee members come from diverse backgrounds including the agriculture industry, natural resource managers, conservation sector, recreational fishing, ports and industry sector, Traditional Owners, research and education sector, and local government.
"I'm confident we'll be able to represent the views of the Gladstone region," Mr Thomson said.
The Gladstone Local Marine Advisory Committee area covers the coastal and inland area extending from Curtis Island in the north and Rocky Point in the south. This includes the city of Gladstone and residents of Curtis Island, Mt Larcom, Calliope, Benaraby and Miriam Vale as well as the coastal towns of Boyne Island, Tannum Sands, Agnes Waters and Town of 1770.
The new committee includes experienced members who have returned for another three-year term, and five new members who bring fresh perspectives to the table.
Established in 1999, the committees meet five times a year and undertake regional environmental projects.
Committees operate in the Cape York, Douglas, Cairns, Cassowary Coast, Hinchinbrook, Townsville, Bowen-Burdekin, Whitsundays, Mackay, Capricorn Coast, Gladstone and Burnett regions.
Earlier this year, there was a call for residents along the coast to nominate for the committees.