Closing the Gap for Indigenous Australians - Land and sea country Indigenous partnerships 

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA)

Key Elements

The 2008-09 budget boosts Australian Government funding for sea country Indigenous partnerships by investing $10.0 million over the next five years through the $200 million Reef Rescue Plan, funded as part of the $2.25 billion Caring for our Country initiative.


The Land and Sea Country Indigenous Partnerships, an element of the Reef Rescue Plan, has one primary objective: building capacity of the Traditional Owner groups involved in sea country management. This will be achieved by:

  • Expanding the existing Traditional Use of Marine Resource Agreement (TUMRA) program across the Great Barrier Reef catchment; and
  • Strengthening communications between local communities, managers and reef stakeholders and building a better understanding of Traditional Owner issues about the management of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Queensland is home to 27 per cent of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, and about fifty per cent of all Indigenous persons in Queensland live along the Great Barrier Reef coast or within the adjacent catchment. There are over 70 Traditional Owner groups living adjacent to the Marine Park, working together in about 25 to 30 management units.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Traditional Owners have been working together to establish a range of cooperative arrangements for sea country management since the early 1990s.

As part of the Marine Park rezoning in 2004, the Traditional Use of Marine Resources Agreement program was established. Traditional Use of Marine Resources Agreements are agreements developed by Traditional Owner Groups to describe formal management arrangements for a range of issues, including hunting, and other issues of concern and interest to them.


Implementation will commence on 1 July 2008 and roll out over five years.

Traditional Owners as well as Indigenous organisations, agencies and councils throughout the Great Barrier Reef catchment will be involved. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority will draw on its strong linkages with the State Government of Queensland and the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) to implement the initiative.

Total Government Funding

$10.0 million over five years.

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