Central Queensland’s Sustainability Strategy 2030 (CQSS2030)  is a roadmap complete with directions to guide us on our journey towards the level of sustainable practice we need to achieve by 2030.

Our motivation for this journey is twofold. Firstly, to keep our current and future lifestyles safe and secure, we must protect the natural assets which give us life thereby, safeguarding our health, wealth and, wellbeing. Secondly, we are morally bound to cease unsustainable habits, replacing them with actions that have a neutral or beneficial impact as responsible local players who believe in global sustainability for the greater good.

Something to look forward to on this journey is an increase of solidarity created when individuals work towards a common goal.

Central Queensland is an important part of a much bigger picture. What we do in our backyard impacts people, communities, businesses and economies far beyond our own. That’s why CQSS2030 supports and guides regional plans and strategies, and reflects state, federal and global priorities. It outlines what we need to do to help achieve targets set by international agreements and, State and Federal plans.

You can explore what CQSS2030 supports and protects in our region by clicking on the links below.


Places and species of international significance

Why is CQSS2030 so important?

Put simply – we all want a healthy and prosperous future, and protecting our natural environment is the surest way to safeguard our communities, lifestyles, businesses, economy and personal wellbeing in the long term.

Our natural environment provides many obvious and hidden services that allow us to grow nutritious food, breathe clean air and enjoy the lifestyles we do today. If we don’t look after our environment, it won’t be able to support us.

 ‘What humans do over the next 50 years will determine the fate of all life on the planet.’
Sir David Attenborough

The CQSS2030 Region

What is CQSS2030?

CQSS2030 (this website) reflects what central Queensland’s community wants for our region now and into the future, and the actions we need to take to ensure our environment is in a state fit to keep supplying what we want and need. Based on the best available science, CQSS2030 outlines what we can do individually and collectively to achieve shared goals and critical targets, and outlines what our environment needs to look like, be and do in order to support a healthy region now and in the future.

How can I use the CQSS2030?

  1. LEARN what needs to be done and how you can make a difference
  2. PLAN personal and business activities that lessen threats and negative impacts
  3. LEVERAGE information in it to help attract funding and investment
  4. GUIDE and inform others who can help look after our region

History of the CQSS

The CQSS2030 has not appeared overnight; it’s the result of conversations, debates, activities and scientific research involving many people over many decades. Here’s the summary of how CQSS2030 evolved into what you are using today.

Community concern over toxic blue-green algal blooms above the Fitzroy barrage and dense mats of water hyacinth prompted an official response in 1980 that recommended legislative moves to reduce pollutants in the long term, and support flushing of the river system during floods. In 1973, the Capricorn Conservation Council was formed, and in 1976 the Capricornia branch of the Wildlife Preservation Society of QLD came together. Both groups campaigned on controversial local issues such as mining limestone at Mount Etna and mineral sand at Shoalwater Bay and Byfield.


During the 1980s, rural landholders began collective action to address land degradation even though many had engaged in their own preventive and restorative work well before that time.

Junior Landcare was introduced into Queensland schools and Moura State High School boasted integration of its concepts into the agriculture and geography curricula.

A Fitzroy wide approach to natural resources practices was promoted; a time when FBA’s roots can be traced to.  In 1989 the Goss Government started introducing Integrated Catchment Management (ICM), and by 1989 more than a dozen Landcare groups were operating in the Fitzroy region.

Formal Natural Resource Management (NRM) planning started in 1991 after a major January rainfall event which resulted in the highest recorded flood at Rockhampton and significant sediment deposition into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon. In response over 200 attended ‘The Symposium’ in 1992; which also saw Rockhampton host QLD’s 2nd annual Landcare summit.

In 1993 Fitzroy Catchment Coordinating Group (FCCG) was officially recognised as the regional coordinating committee under Queensland’s Integrated Catchment Management strategy.

1996 saw the emergence of central Queensland’s first rudimentary regional strategy which was formalised in 1997 (during which time FCCG transitioned to Fitzroy Basin Association) and was endorsed by the community as Sustainable Futures in 1998.

After significant community consultation in 2002 and 2003, Sustainable Futures was reviewed, updated and launched in May 2004 by Fitzroy Basin Association as Central Queensland Strategy for Sustainability 2004 and beyond (CQSS2).  At the same time, state and federal government agencies were developing the ReefWater Quality Protection Plan which was released in 2003 and updated in 2009. The 2009 version established an integrated monitoring and evaluation strategy to measure progress against targets, with annual reports on water quality entering the Great Barrier Reef from neighbouring catchments (including the Fitzroy) starting in 2011. Meantime, floods during 2008 in the Fitzroy region led to mine site water releases that caused widespread concern across the region, and resulted in a report from the Queensland Premier identifying the need for an integrated monitoring partnership on the region’s waterways.

In 2010 a collective committed to independent waterway reporting established an Independent Science Panel for the Fitzroy, which was followed by the formation of the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health (FPRH) in 2012. FPRH have produced annual waterway health reports reviewed by the Independent Science Panel for the region ever since.

During 2013 and 2014, CQSS2 underwent significant community consultation and a scientific panel review, and resulted in the first online version of the region’s NRM plan the CQSS:2030.

2014 also saw a pilot environmental report card released for Gladstone Harbour. Put together by Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership (GHHP was formally launched in 2013), the report card has been produced annually ever since under the guidance of GHHP’s Independent Science Panel.

Designed to help achieve targets to protect the Great Barrier Reef, the region’s first Fitzroy Water Quality Improvement Plan (WQIP:2015) was launched online in 2015 and was subsequently reviewed in 2019.

In 2018 Fitzroy Basin Association was commissioned by the Federal Government under the Regional Land Partnerships program to review and update the CQSS2030. Based on a region-wide community survey resulting in over 1,200 responses, and a technical expert panel of over 40, the CQSS2030 has been updated to reflect the latest community feedback as well as regional, state and federal targets for conserving the natural environment in the Fitzroy Region.


On-ground Action

Great Barrier Reef Foundation: Marine Monitoring Program for In-shore Water Quality

Great Barrier Reef Foundation: Marine Monitoring Program for In-shore Water Quality

Cotton Australia: Grants to boost cotton farm water efficiency and sustainability

Cotton Australia: Grants to boost cotton farm water efficiency and sustainability

Great Barrier Reef Foundation: Fitzroy Water Quality Program

Great Barrier Reef Foundation: Fitzroy Water Quality Program

Brigalow Catchment Study: Monitoring Fitzroy Grazing Management Practices

Brigalow Catchment Study: Monitoring Fitzroy Grazing Management Practices

Alluvium: Australia’s largest bank stabilisation project on the Fitzroy River

Alluvium: Australia’s largest bank stabilisation project on the Fitzroy River