Achieving the desired water quality improvements on the Reef requires the right mix of:

  • landholder involvement, evidence-based science and local knowledge that informs the development of appropriate solutions
  • Targeted investment and resources, including highly competent project managers and teams
  • The willingness of local communities to engage on-ground action that has been carefully and thoughtfully planned, designed, implemented and evaluated.

The challenge facing future Reef project managers is to ensure that projects are designed to be fit-for-purpose to each individual context and situation, and delivered effectively and efficiently to ensure maximum impact.

To achieve this, the Office of the Great Barrier Reef engaged Alluvium to collate the management lessons and experiences captured from recent programs and projects aimed specifically at improving Reef water quality. The focus was historically on examining projects that have typically been funded by the Queensland and Australian Governments.

While the Scientific Consensus Statement synthesises peer reviewed published literature which forms the backbone of Reef investments, the Management Synthesis can act as an accompanying document and bring together the experience-based learnings that are too often only anecdotal.

This process can bring to light all the insight and knowledge gained over many years of implementation and can continue to inform Reef outcomes into the future.

An important output from this was to document a suite of management principles that would be applied in different circumstances. This will assist current and future project managers to ensure short term project outcomes are successfully achieved as well as ensuring the project contributes maximum long term or enduring impact for the Reef and local waterways.

Talking with experienced project managers was a primary focus for collecting project data. A number of focus groups and one-to-one interviews were held across the Great Barrier Reef catchment as well as in Brisbane. An Expert Advisory Panel was established to provide high level project guidance and expertise, and the stakeholder focused data collection was supplemented with desk top reviews of project documentation and other literature review.