Queensland councils have welcomed the Great Barrier Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, despite concerns from environmentalists.

The plan goes some way to preventing industrial expansions that threaten the Reef, but conservation groups say these may be half-baked and ignore longer-term issues.

Local Government Association of Queensland President Margaret de Wit said the plan recognised the key part played by coastal councils in relation to conservation and protection of the Reef.

“This plan will finally allow local communities and the councils governing those communities a pivotal say in measures to protect the Great Barrier Reef,'” Cr de Wit said.

Local governments play a significant role in managing the Reef, investing about $230 million in 2014-15 in activities including improving sewage treatment and water quality, rehabilitating waterways and coastal areas, managing vegetation and pests, promoting sustainable agriculture initiatives and local community education and awareness activities.

Cr de Wit said one of the best aspects of the plan was its support for dedicated communities such as Reef Guardian Councils.

“It will allow councils to respond with fit-for-purpose actions to protect the Reef and also support them and industry to improve water quality management in urban areas,” she said.