Back to All News

Greens Act to Save Reef from Uranium and World Heritage In-Danger Listing

Media Release
Larissa Waters 19 Mar 2013

The Australian Greens will introduce a bill to Parliament tomorrow to save the Great Barrier Reef from uranium shipping and being added to the World Heritage list of sites in danger.

"Premier Newman is considering shipping uranium through the reef and the World Heritage committee is warning the reef is being overrun with development," Senator Larissa Waters, the Australian Greens Great Barrier Reef spokesperson, said.

"The government is not acting to save the reef from these threats - it has ticked off on what would be one of the world's largest coal ports in the reef and hasn't ruled out giving Campbell Newman its federal responsibilities to protect the reef.

"I am introducing a bill to adopt key recommendations made by the World Heritage committee on the reef's management, which would prevent uranium shipping through new or expanded ports.

"The World Heritage committee is warning that if its recommendations are not followed it could decide to add the reef to its international list of sites in danger when it meets in June.

"This would be an international embarrassment - Australia would be the only developed country in the world with a World Heritage site on the list.

"The listing would risk the $5 billion the reef pumps into the economy each year through tourism and the 54 000 jobs that rely on a healthy reef.

"There's still time to save the Great Barrier Reef from being added to World Heritage in danger list but we need to act now.

"I'll be updating the World Heritage committee on the government's progress in adopting the recommendations up until the June deadline," Senator Waters said.

Senator Waters' bill to amend environment law to protect the Great Barrier Reef by adopting UNESCO's key recommendations would:

  • place a moratorium on all further developments until the joint government strategic assessment is finished in 2015
  • allow no new ports in pristine areas
  • allow no port expansion where that would affect the overall World Heritage value of the reef
  • require all new developments to have a net a benefit to the reef.
Back to All News