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The GBR coastal zone strategic assessment Terms of Reference outline how the Queensland Government 'Program' will be assessed with respect to the identification and protection of Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES) and Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) in the GBR coastal zone.

The Terms of Reference were developed following a public consultation process conducted from February to April 2012. A total of 377 submissions were received and informed the final Terms of Reference that were endorsed by the Australian Government in August 2012.

The final Terms of Reference are available with a consultation report outlining how feedback was adopted.

Independent review

The independent review of the draft GBR coastal zone strategic assessment reports was managed by the Australian Government Department of the Environment.

The purpose of the independent review was to provide a rigorous independent assessment of Queensland's draft strategic assessment reports to ensure that the documents accurately describe and demonstrate the effectiveness of the Queensland Government Program.

While some of the recommendations of the review were addressed in the draft reports that were released for public consultation, others could not be addressed in the short time between the finalisation of the review and the release of the draft reports. The outstanding recommendations have been addressed in the final package of reports.

Public consultation on the draft reports

Queensland's draft strategic assessment reports were released for public consultation on 1 November 2013 until 31 January 2014 along with the draft reports prepared by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. The draft reports looked at the Reef's values and how these values are being protected now and into the future, while enabling the sustainable development of the coastal zone.

The joint public consultation with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority received 6616 submissions and almost 6500 people from 74 countries visited the dedicated website during the consultation period. The website contained copies of the draft reports, an online survey and other relevant materials.

A series of regional briefings and community information sessions were held in November and December 2013 to support the consultation process. These sessions held in Airlie Beach, Townsville, Cairns, Mackay, Rockhampton and Gladstone attracted approximately 200 participants.

Feedback and comments received during the public consultation were used to inform the development of the final reports of GBR coastal zone strategic assessment. A report (PDF icon 2.4 MB) on the outcomes of the consultation is also available.