Noosa River Management

Boats on Noosa River

The Noosa River is a beautiful and complex waterway, and management of this dynamic system involves multiple agencies across all three tiers of government (Local, State and Commonwealth) in relation to different locations, impacts and activities on the river.

Noosa Council is working with the local Kabi Kabi (Gubbi Gubbi) on a new engagement protocol to ensure First Nations perspectives are included in ongoing management of the Noosa River and its catchment.

Noosa River Stakeholder Advisory Committee

In early 2021, the State regulatory agency for coastal waters of Queensland, Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) and Noosa Council committed to engaging with local stakeholders and communities as an essential component in the management of the Noosa River and its catchment.

The Noosa River Stakeholder Advisory Committee (NRSAC) was formed in April 2021 with key community representatives across sectors of river use including community, recreational, fishing, tourism and environmental, co-chaired by MSQ’s General Manager Noosa Council’s CEO, and completed its term in March 2023.

The purpose of the NRSAC was to provide advice to Council and MSQ on sustainable use and management of the Noosa River and its catchment.

After nearly two years of deliberations, NRSAC achieved a landmark legislative policy proposal outcome, with MSQ taking a range of initiatives to improve the safety and amenity of the Noosa River system to public consultation in December 2022.

The new Noosa River initiatives included a suite of proposals to manage speed, anchoring, transit arrangements for visiting vessels, waterski areas, and near shore access for all vessels.

View a report on the achievements of the NRSAC and the map MSQ took to public consultation on the new proposed initiatives, which are intended to inform a new Noosa River Marine Zone map under the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act.

Noosa River Catchment Management Plan

Development of a Noosa River Catchment Management Plan is included as a signature project within Noosa Council’s Corporate Plan 2023-2028, and Council is developed it as a framework for collaboration with key stakeholders, investment, and action for implementation.

The plan will be reviewed on an annual basis to assess environmental condition and the effectiveness of management actions.

Engagement with other Government and non-government agencies to inform future governance of Noosa River management issues is ongoing, and the future model will be determined in the 2023-24 financial year.

NRSAC Committee Members

Name Sectors represented (as nominated by the candidate, primary sector first)
CEO Joint Chair Noosa Shire Council
General Manager Joint Chair Maritime Safety Queensland
Joanne Daley Recreational boating
Bruce Davidson Recreational Fishing 
Michael Gloster Conservation group, recreational boating
Jane Harris Recreational boating
Nick Hluszko Other – community leader experienced in river issues
Richard Howard NRM group, conservation group
Peter Hunnam NRM group, recreational boating
Chris Massoud Commercial fishing
Phillip Moran NRM Group
Agnes Reed Recreational boating
Lachlan Stevens Commercial boating, Tourism
Erica Hamp Tourism Sector
Amy Kimber Committee support provided by Noosa Council 

Community members on the committee were selected following publicly advertised selection processes in 2021 and 2022 and were appointed for 2 years.

The Noosa Mayor, Clare Stewart and Member for Noosa, Sandy Bolton, had a standing invitation to attend the NRSAC meetings as observers.

NRSAC Meeting Minutes

# Name Size File Type Download

Terms of Reference

NRSAC Terms of Reference

Media releases/updates

28 October 2021
13 September 2021 
1 July 2021
17 May 2021

MSQ Media Release - Noosa River Speed Limit Review - February 2022


MSQ previously undertook consultation on a proposal to reduce speed limits on the lower Noosa River to 6 knots.

MSQ now plans to undertake further consultation about the safety and amenity of the Noosa River and proposed changes to vessel waterways management practices to reduce congestion.

Community members are encouraged to complete a short survey online via the Queensland Government’s Get involved website up until 13 January 2023.

Noosa Council is proud to have convened the NRSAC with MSQ which has led to this landmark proposal to reduce vessel congestion and pollution on Noosa River.

Status of the Draft Noosa River Plan

In 2023 Council undertook targeted stakeholder engagement to finalise the draft Noosa River Catchment Management Plan, Council’s key strategic document on maintaining the health of the Noosa River and surrounding catchment. There are many different agencies involved in management of the Noosa River and some elements within the plan are within Council’s direct control, while for others Council takes an advocacy role on behalf of the local community.

Finalisation of the Noosa River Plan is included as a signature project in Council’s Corporate Plan 2023-2028. In October 2023 Council passed a resolution to defer consideration of the plan to enable Council to undertake community and stakeholder consultation and following this report back to the July 2024 Council with a final and fully costed plan.

View the draft plan and a summary of feedback received to date.

More information about Noosa River System

Please email for more information