The Abbott Government’s taskforce of diplomats, revealed today, set up to lobby other countries over the threat of an ‘In Danger’ listing for the Great Barrier Reef, is not what the Reef needs.
“The Abbott Government hasn’t done its Reef homework and now is wasting the rest of the time it has left to get it done by making up excuses for the teacher,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.
“The World Heritage Committee asked for no new ports in pristine areas, no damaging port expansions, and a moratorium on damaging developments until a long-term plan to protect the Reef was produced.
“And the Abbott Government has failed on all of those key counts.
“The Abbott Government has approved the world’s largest coal port in the Great Barrier Reef and two associated mega mines to turn the Reef into shipping super highway.
“These damaging developments were ticked off before producing a long-term plan for the Reef.
“A draft long term plan has now been released which the Australian Academy of Science slammed for ignoring climate change and allowing the expansion of dredging and fossil fuel export.
"The pristine Fitzroy Delta which the World Heritage Committee specifically identified as pristine is still not legally protected from new ports.
“World Heritage experts aren’t going to be convinced by lobbying, they are going to want to see that what they have asked for has been done.
"To save the Great Barrier Reef from a World Heritage In Danger listing the Abbott Government should pass my bill to implement the World Heritage Committee recommendations.
“It’s time that the Reef and its 67,000 jobs was put ahead of the private profits of the mining industry,” Senator Waters said.