Gladstone Harbour in 2012.
Gladstone Harbour in 2012. Brenda Strong

Gladstone Healthy Harbour Science Panel announced

THE science panel tasked with providing independent and expert advice about the long term management of water quality in Gladstone Harbour has been appointed and is preparing to meet for the first time on March 5.

Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection Andrew Powell said the panel would provide open, transparent, independent peer-reviewed science to the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership.

"The Independent Science Panel brings the key experts together at one table to integrate research and monitoring into a report card that gives a picture of the management of Gladstone Harbour and its surrounds," Mr Powell said.

"Following the appointment of top marine scientist Dr Ian Poiner as chair, a further seven experts have been chosen to make up the panel.

"These panel members were chosen by Dr Ian Poiner and are experts in their particular field."

Local expertise is being sought from Central Queensland University to be included on the panel.

Panel members and their expertise to date include:

  • Dr Richard Brinkman - hydrodynamics
  • Dr Michele Burford - biogeochemistry
  • Dr Rob Coles - marine biodiversity
  • Dr Cathy Dichmont - decision support and modelling
  • Dr Britta Schaffelke - water quality
  • Dr Jenny Stauber - marine toxicology
  • Dr Eva Abal - ecosystem health.

"Some of the first tasks the panel will undertake include mapping existing monitoring and research in the harbour to identify duplication and knowledge gaps," he said.

"They will make recommendations to the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership on actions required to address any emerging science issues.

"The group will also develop the design for future Gladstone Healthy Harbour Report Cards.

"Workshops will be held throughout 2013 to ensure community input and local knowledge is incorporated into the future design of the program.

"This is an important step that sees industry, government, research and the local community all working together to achieve and maintain a healthy Gladstone Harbour."

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