UNESCO’s draft decision overnight confirming that the Great Barrier Reef is still being considered for a Sites In Danger listing, is an embarrassment for Australia as the Newman and Abbott governments are criticised for their lack of long-term protection for the Reef, said the Australian Greens.
“UNESCO has not resiled from its recommendation that the Reef be considered for listing as In Danger unless there is substantial progress by the Newman and Abbott governments on implementing the Committee’s earlier recommendations to save the Reef,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.
“UNESCO also criticised the Queensland Government for their Draft Ports Strategy which restricts future port developments, but doesn’t apply to the existing mega ports proposed which were the initial trigger for UNESCO’s “extreme concern”.
“Since the World Heritage Committee gave its initial warning more than two years ago, the Newman and Abbott governments have continued with mega industrial ports alongside the Reef, and want to wind back meaningful action to address climate change.
“That means mass dredging and dumping of sludge back into reef waters to enable thousands more coal and gas ships to cross the reef every year.”
Press Release, May 1, 2014