The Queensland Government has announced the formation of the new science panel tasked with providing independent expert advice on the long term management of water quality in Gladstone Harbour, with the panel preparing for its first meeting on 5 March.

State Minister for Environment, Andrew Powell, said the panel would be crucial for delivering open, transparent and peer reviewed science to the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership.

The Independent Science Panel brings the key experts together at one table to integrate research and monitoring into a report card that gives a picture of the management of Gladstone Harbour and its surrounds,” Mr Powell said.

“Following the appointment of top marine scientist Dr Ian Poiner as chair, a further seven experts have been chosen to make up the panel.

“These panel members were chosen by Dr Ian Poiner and are experts in their particular field.”

Local expertise is being sought from Central Queensland University to be included on the panel.

Panel members and their expertise to date include:

  • Dr Richard Brinkman - hydrodynamics
  • Dr Michele Burford - biogeochemistry
  • Dr Rob Coles - marine biodiversity
  • Dr Cathy Dichmont - decision support and modelling
  • Dr Britta Schaffelke - water quality
  • Dr Jenny Stauber – marine toxicology
  • Dr Eva Abal – ecosystem health.

“Some of the first tasks the panel will undertake include mapping existing monitoring and research in the harbour to identify duplication and knowledge gaps,” he said.

“They will make recommendations to the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership on actions required to address any emerging science issues.”