The Australian Greens say the Australian and Queensland government’s inaction and capitulation to big coal will tempt UNESCO to put the Great Barrier Reef on the World Heritage In Danger list.
“The Government is risking a fail on their Reef homework to UNESCO by underfunding their ReefPlan, delaying water quality targets, spruiking new coal and ignoring global warming after the worst coral bleaching the Reef has ever seen,” said Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Senator for Queensland, Larissa Waters.
“The federal and state governments’ weak response to the Reef’s worst ever bleaching which killed almost a quarter of its corals, could tempt UNESCO to reconsider listing the Reef as World Heritage ‘In Danger’.
“To avoid being put on that international list of shame, the Reef and the tourism industry need real, funded action to better protect the Reef.
“The federal and Queensland government's Reef 2050 plan completely ignores global warming’s impact and under-funds water quality measures to the tune of eight billion dollars.
“The federal government’s draft response plan to the “worst ever” bleaching event on the Reef on record reportedly says global warming was the cause but doesn’t include any action or new funding to address it.”
“The Queensland government were elected to ‘save the Reef’ but instead they’ve caved in to big coal creating loopholes to put Adani’s Reef-destroying mega-mine on the fast track.”
“After the Newman government who were determined to trash the Reef were kicked out of office the Palaszczuk government broke its promise to reinstate strong land clearing laws.
“Just today they decided to keep using the Reef as a rubbish tip for dumping one million cubic metres of dredge sludge, in their long overdue Maintenance Dredging Strategy for Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area Ports.
"To save the Reef and avoid a World Heritage In Danger listing which would damage the tourism industry, both levels of government need a response to global warming that includes scrapping Adani, transitioning away from coal, banning dredge dumping and strong land clearing laws.
“It is time for all political parties to make a genuine commitment to save our Reef.