The Great Barrier Reef report card released today shows virtually no improvement on water quality over the past year, as water quality initiatives continue to be drastically under-funded, say the Australian Greens.
“Today’s report card is a fail on Reef water quality, after this year’s earlier fail on climate with 22% of corals dead from the Reef’s worst ever coral bleaching,” said Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and environment spokesperson.
“The Queensland and federal governments have flunked in improving the water quality of the Reef – there has been effectively zero improvement since last year.
“We are not on track to meet 2018 targets for water quality on the Reef – targets that have already been pushed back by five years – and we are not even close to reaching the 2025 targets.
“This shows just how crucial it is for the Queensland and federal governments to listen to the call from the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce for a massive investment of $8.2 billion for Reef water quality.
“Scientist say the biggest threat to the Reef is climate change, followed by water quality – yet both levels of Government are approving and subsidising new coal mines and under-funding water quality action.
“We need action on climate change, a serious water quality funding boost, regulation for clean water and progress on tree clearing protections to save the Reef.
“The bipartisan obsession with new coal and the underfunding of water quality initiatives will kill our Reef and jeopardise the $6 billion annual revenue it provides.
“It’s high time the old parties put the Great Barrier Reef and the 70,000 jobs it provides ahead of the interests of big polluters,” Senator Waters said.