The intended outcomes of governance for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) are made clear in the Reef Long Term Sustainability Plan (LTSP). At its broadest level, the vision for future outcomes in the GBR under the LTSP is "to ensure the Great Barrier Reef continues to improve on its Outstanding Universal Value every decade between now and 2050 to be a natural wonder for each successive generation to come" (Commonwealth of Australia, 2015). The Plan goes on to outline a range of quite specific water quality and reef health targets that it intends to achieve by 2050. This vision and associated outcomes are broadly agreed across the Australian and Queensland Governments and among key sectors with GBR interests. These outcomes are also implicitly supported internationally through recent decisions regarding the future status of the GBR taken by the United Nations Educations, Sciences and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 2015).
This document consists of a number of rapid assessment tables that examine the risk of systemic failure of key governance domains and subdomains that majorly influence outcomes in the GBR. In doing so, we apply the Governance Systems Analysis (GSA) framework tested in Dale et al. (2013). Table 3 provides a description and summary of the results of all the rapid assessments contained in this document. The rapid assessment tables below are organised based on their alignment with the overarching governance themes of Economic Development, Social Development, and Environmental Management. Within all themes, some governance domains are broken down into more distinct subdomains. Most rapid assessment tables in this document describe and assess the governance systems within domains and subdomains in the Environmental Management Theme.
Each rapid assessment table consists of a short description of the domain or subdomain, followed by the identification and explanation of the key structural and functional components of each. Based on this, the likelihood and consequences of the each domain's or subdomain's governance system failing are identified. Each table also consequently contains a score for the likelihood of systemic failure and the consequence of systemic failure. Finally, a cumulative risk rating is then derived from the multiplication of each of the aforementioned scores. The rapid assessment tables conclude with the identification of possible or suggested areas for governance reform.
The standardised scores described in Table 1 and Table 2 are used throughout this document to indicate the likelihood and consequences of systemic failure of the governance system. The use of standard criteria enables benchmarking of the target governance system over time and repeatability of the assessment/s. The multiplication of the likelihood and consequence scores provides an indication of the risk of failure of the governance system being analysed.