The Gladstone Harbour report card: From vision to reality, tales from a working harbour

Dr Mark Schultz1, Mr Mac  Hansler1, Ms  Lyndal  Hanson1, Prof John Rolfe2

1GHHP, Tanum Sands, Australia, 2CQU, Rockhampton, Australia


The Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership (GHHP) is a forum that brings together representatives of the community, Traditional Owners, government and industry to monitor and report on the health of Gladstone Harbour.  The partnership was launched in 2013 when the partners agreed to work together to achieve the GHHP vision that “Gladstone has a healthy accessible working harbour”.


The process of developing the GHHP vision, objectives and annual report card initially involved a series of community workshops with a broad range of participants.  From this vision the GHHP Independent Science Panel and partners identified objectives and specific indicators that could be measured and reported against to identify the environmental, social, cultural and economic health of Gladstone Harbour.

To complete the community vision for the report card, the program has nearly doubled from one that reported on 54 measures of harbour health in 2014 to reporting on 107 indicators in 2019.  A multilayer approach to reporting captures these results in the annual report card, fact sheets, website material and the technical reports and journal papers.  The communication program has developed educational programs for local schools based on the report card program and a children’s book for primary school children is released concurrently with the annual report card.

We examine the development of the report card and consider how well it is meeting the community vision using existing reviews, data from social surveys and case studies. We also present lessons learnt and future challenges.


Mark has a diverse background in research and management. After completing a PhD in wildlife ecology from Charles Sturt University he has worked in South Australia as a wetland ecologist and a threatened species ecologist and more recently has been working in Victoria for the Corangamite Catchment Authority planning environmental flows and developing monitoring and management projects.  He has spent the previous six years working for the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership assisting with the development of the Gladstone Harbour Report Card program.