Australia: Minister Powell Welcomes Reef Plan 2050
Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection Andrew Powell has welcomed the Coalition’s plan to take a strategic, long-term approach to protection of the Great Barrier Reef.
Mr Powell said the Newman Government had taken action to fix Labor’s poor decisions at a state level and was confident measures outlined in Reef Plan 2050 would significantly enhance reef protection efforts.
“Establishing a Reef Trust that facilitates a strategic approach to water quality and coastal habitat improvement means we can deliver strong environmental outcomes for the Great Barrier Reef and support for Queensland’s tourism industry,” he said.
“Combined with a holistic approach to turtle and dugong protection, targeted funding for crown of thorns research and continued support for sustainable farming practices, Reef Plan 2050 clearly charts a course to address the major challenges faced by the reef.
“It was under Labor’s watch that concerns were raised over the state of the Reef and it is a matter of public record that the Australian public and international community lost confidence of its management under the former state and federal Labor governments.
“Should the Coalition come to office, I intend to work hard with the Federal Environment Minister to restore this confidence.
“The Newman Government has done more to protect the Great Barrier Reef in 18 months than the previous Labor state government did in 20 years and the measures announced today demonstrate our federal colleagues’ shared commitment to protect the reef and the jobs it supports.
“We have significantly scaled back the previous state government’s crazy plans for a multi-cargo facility at Abbott Point, established the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership and commenced work on a strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef in conjunction with the Federal Government.
“We have committed $35 million each year for reef protection and we have started rolling out best management practice programs with the agricultural industry to reduce nutrient run off and improve water quality whilst delivering economic benefits for farmers,” he said.
“We are committed to protecting this natural icon and I am confident that, if elected, the Coalition’s Reef Plan 2050 will ensure the Great Barrier Reef is one of the best managed marine areas in the world.”
Press Release, September 2, 2013