Australia: Government Commits Funding for GHHP

The Coalition Government is boosting support for the Great Barrier Reef with the announcement of $1 million funding for the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership (GHHP).

The Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership is a forum to bring together parties to work towards the highest environmental standards for Gladstone Harbour.

“We are working with the Queensland Government on priorities for funding to help address environmental challenges and assist with the future environmental management of the Port of Gladstone,” said Environment Minister Greg Hunt.

The guiding principles of the partnership are open, honest and accountable management, annual reporting of the health of Gladstone Harbour and management recommendations and actions based on rigorous science and strong stakeholder engagement.

The funding will be provided over the next two years from this financial year. The Queensland Government has also committed funding which will be matched by industry, community, research and local government.

The 2013 Independent Review on the Port of Gladstone recommended that the Australian Government support the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership as it provides a good opportunity to address environmental issues at the Port of Gladstone.

This contribution demonstrates to the World Heritage Committee the Commonwealth’s commitment to working with the Queensland Government to ensure improvement in the health of Gladstone Harbour and the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

The Coalition Government is also supporting the Great Barrier Reef through the Reef 2050 Plan which is being developed jointly with Queensland and the new Reef Trust which will help eradicate the destructive Crown of Thorns Starfish.

The Government has also set the condition that environmental approvals will only be granted if there is an overall net benefit to the Outstanding Universal Value of the Great Barrier Reef world heritage property. This is consistent with the decisions of the World Heritage Committee.

“We have now submitted the ‘2014 State Party Report on the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area’ to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. The report highlights the significant progress Australia has made in improving the management and protection of this iconic area,” he said.

The commissioning of an independent review into the leaking bund wall at the Port of Gladstone further demonstrates the Australian Government’s commitment to ensuring that the ecological health of our oceans and harbours in and around the Great Barrier Reef are protected.

Press Release, January 31, 2014

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