The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) today responded to the Great Barrier Reef policy announcement from the Queensland Liberal National Party (LNP) as totally inadequate.
Felicity Wishart, AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaign director, said the community was expecting a strong commitment from the LNP to protect the Reef but their policy failed to deliver.
“The Great Barrier Reef is fighting for its life. It faces serious challenges from climate change and warmer oceans, port development, farm runoff and declining coral cover.
“We need all parties to commit to a suite of actions in order to defend the Reef and the tourism and fishing industry it supports.
“We were hoping to see a commitment to ban dumping in all the Reef’s waters and to increase protection for our precious Reef wetlands. The LNP was silent on these matters.
“The Reef also needs increased funding and stricter controls to tackle farm pollution in its catchments.
“The funding proposed for farm pollution is not new money, just a retention of existing voluntary programs without the regulatory teeth to ensure it’s effective.
“Furthermore the LNP has proposed to use tax payers’ money to fund rail and port infrastructure at Abbot Point, activities we know will further damage the Reef.
“Tens of thousands of people across Queensland have expressed their concern about the Reef. The LNP’s response is lacking in detail, and will not make the difference people are hoping for.
“The failure of policies from the Queensland LNP in this election has made the Australian Government’s task of avoiding the Reef being placed on the World Heritage Committee’s “in danger” list that much harder,” said Ms Wishart.