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Qld Auditor General’s report cuts through government spin to show shocking reality of Great Barrier Reef water quality

Media Release
Larissa Waters 10 Jun 2015

The Australian Greens are calling for urgent investment in Great Barrier Reef water quality following the release of the Queensland Auditor General's report today.

"The Auditor General's damning report must serve as an urgent wake-up call to the Abbott and Palaszczuk governments," Australian Greens Deputy Leader and environment spokesperson, Senator Larissa Waters, said.

"Minister Hunt has been busy lobbying the World Heritage Committee overseas trying to convince members that there's nothing to worry about when it comes to the Reef's water quality.

"But the reality is sadly very different, as this report reveals.

"The Auditor General's report concludes that the water quality improvement targets originally scheduled to be achieved by 2013 which were pushed back to 2018 are still unlikely to be achieved with current efforts.

"Both the state and federal governments need to urgently make saving the Great Barrier Reef a priority, rather than the international lobbying and spin that is currently the focus.                                                                                                                      

"While there has been some increase in funding for Reef water quality, the state and federal funds combined are a far cry from the Natural Resource Management groups' recommendation of $785 million over the next five years.

"The scope of this report does not include the impacts of climate change, dredging and shipping but when we take these threats into account the outlook for water quality and the Reef's health overall is far worse, as the government's own Outlook Report 2014 points out.

"The Abbott and Palaszczuk governments need to stop adding to the Reef's existing problems with their plan to turn the Reef into a highway for coal ships.

"Climate change is the biggest threat the Reef faces and exporting hundreds of millions of tonnes of coal through the Reef will exacerbate coral bleaching and ocean acidification," Senator Waters said. 

 

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