Concerns Grow Over Great Barrier Reef (Australia)
UNESCO’s confirmation overnight that it will consider listing the Great Barrier Reef on the World Heritage list of sites in danger, puts the Newman and Gillard governments on notice to stop letting mining companies destroy the Great Barrier Reef, say the Australian Greens.
“The World Heritage Committee has officially expressed concern over the lack of progress made by the Newman and Gillard governments in following its recommendations on the reef’s management,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.
“Since the World Heritage Committee gave its initial warning more than a year ago, the Newman and Gillard governments have continued to fast-track mega industrial ports alongside the reef.
“That means dredging up seabed and dumping it in the reef so that thousands of coal ships can cross the reef every year.
“Feeding grounds for turtles and dugongs are too precious to be used as a dumping ground by mining magnates.
“The Greens are the only party that is standing up for the Great Barrier Reef.
“I currently have a bill under Senate inquiry to adopt the World Heritage Committee’s recommendations, including placing a moratorium on all further developments until the joint government strategic assessment is finished in 2015 and allowing no new ports in pristine areas.
“Protecting the Great Barrier Reef must be beyond politics and all parties should support my bill,” Senator Waters said.
Press Release, May 6, 2013; Image: greatbarrierreef