Australia: Groups Call for More Details About Gladstone Harbour Review

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Groups Call for More Details About Gladstone Harbour Review

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has announced that Ms Anthea Tinney will Chair the long awaited Independent Review of management and environmental concerns in Gladstone Harbour and Curtis Island.

While this is welcomed, conservation groups are concerned that details regarding other critical aspects of the UNESCO recommended review have not been provided.

Michael McCabe from Capricorn Conservation Council (CCC) said: “Now the Chair has been announced, there are other critical aspects of the review that Minister Burke and Ms Tinney must immediately tackle. This includes releasing the Review’s draft Terms of Reference for public comment and announcing the scientists, industry representatives and other people who will be involved in the Review.

In the report to UNESCO released by Minister Burke last week, it is stated the findings and recommendations of the Review will be provided to him by 30th June this year.

“There is less than five months remaining before the deadline. Other aspects of the Review that need to be outlined by the government include how the specific criteria of the Monitoring Mission’s third recommendation (see below) will be addressed and how members of the public will be consulted and engaged in the Review”, said Jan Arens from Gladstone Conservation Council.

For it to be credible, Minister Burke and Ms Tinney must ensure the review of Gladstone Harbour and Curtis Island is based on independent science, utilises open and transparent processes and specifically addresses the Monitoring Mission’s recommendations.”

“Anything less risks UNESCO taking further steps towards inscribing the Great Barrier Reef on the World Heritage “In Danger” list. This would be an economic disaster for the Reef based tourism industry and cause huge international embarrassment for the government,” Said Mr Arens.

[mappress]

Press Release, February 18, 2013

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