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Third strike on Great Barrier Reef World Heritage ‘In Danger’ warning

The World Heritage Committee has tonight given the Abbott and Newman Governments one more chance to stop destroying the Great Barrier Reef or it will be placed on the World Heritage ‘In Danger' list next year.

"This is the third and probably the final warning from the World Heritage Committee for the future of our Reef," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.

"UNESCO's message to the Abbott Government is clear - this is your last chance to pick up your act and save the Reef from ending up on the ‘In Danger' list next year.

"The World Heritage's Committee's decision tonight specifically expresses concern about the Abbott-Government approved Abbot Point coal port, which would see 3 million cubic metres of dredge spoil dumped in the Reef's World Heritage waters.

"The Committee's decision tonight also calls on the Abbott Government to put a hold on hasty plans to hand federal environmental approval powers over to state governments, which would leave the Reef in the hands of Campbell ‘we're in the coal business' Newman.

"On top of this, the Committee criticises the Abbott and Newman governments' delay in delivering on a long term plan for the Reef's protection.

"The Committee calls for Reef water quality programs to be expanded and yet the Abbott Government has cut $40 million out of Reef Rescue, a highly effective program that helps farmers reduce runoff to the Reef.

"It's time the Abbott and Newman governments started listening to this international condemnation and stopped letting their big mining buddies run rampant in the Reef.

"How many times do they need to be told?

"This time, instead of ignoring the warning, the Abbott Government needs to support my bill currently in the Parliament to adopt the World Heritage Committee's recommendations and to ban offshore dumping of dredge spoil in the Reef," Senator Waters said.


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