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Briefing discusses the GBR and economic development: can they co-exist?


Resource Industry Network’s October Industry Briefing will present the facts on how the Great Barrier Reef and economic and social growth can and do co-exist with careful management and dedicated expertise.

The issue of the future of the Great Barrier Reef and the need for economic development and growth in the regions will be the key topic of discussion at the October 16 briefing.

Resource Industry Network Chairman, Tony Caruso, said the common debate in the media, and amongst policy makers and advocacy groups, is usually in the context of the Great Barrier Reef versus economic development and growth.

"The question is asked ‘Can there be a balance between environmental improvement needs and maximization of gross regional product and broader economic return?’ and it seems the answer, in their view, is the two cannot operate together.

“We don’t believe that is the case and have brought together representatives of the two sides of the debate to clear up the many mixed messages.”

Mr Caruso said Resource Industry Network strongly encouraged anyone, whether they are involved in the resources sector or not, to come along and get the facts.

“We hear all too often that nothing is being done to ‘save’ the reef. This presentation will highlight the great work being done and what can be achieved when everyone works together with a common goal.”

Guest presenters Mr Rob Cocco, CEO of Reef Catchments Group, and Mr Kevin Kane, Senior Manager, Environment, of North Queensland Bulk Ports will each provide factual information about:
• the Great Barrier Reef and its ecological systems and the major threats on its long–term sustainability.
• the benefits derived from integrated catchment management and how to address environmental, social economic and cultural wants and needs.
• what is being done to address catchment and reef health sustainability and generate economic and social well–being.
• new opportunities being tested and validated to deliver win–wins for the environment and the community.
• what lessons can be learned from other national and global initiatives.

Mr Cocco has a diverse background and set of skills in rural production research and extension, commercial business development and has successfully fulfilled roles in the not for profit sector, government, and for profit commercial sector. He has brokered numerous local, state and national partnerships and co–led the development of the Australian government Reef Rescue program and State government Reef Plan initiatives and has had large involvement in the current reef 2050 program and has been involved in the review of reef program delivery.

Mr Kane’s role with NQBP is to drive environmental management across four of Queensland’s largest bulk commodity Ports. With a diverse career in areas of environmental research, Mr Kane’s expertise covers fisheries science and regulation, impact evaluation and management, government policy and compliance and transport and infrastructure. He is currently the Chair of the Mackay Whitsunday Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership – Technical Working Group, charged with guiding the development of the region’s first River to Reef report card.

The Briefing will be held on Friday 16th October at Ocean International Hotel from 6.45am til 9am. Cost is $45 for Members and $65 for Non–Members. To register go to No items found.

Media Contact: Kelley Porter 0411 113 703