UN rules Reef in trouble-Places You Love media release


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United Nations rules Great Barrier Reef in trouble: Federal Government should not leave the Reef in Newman’s hands

 Thursday 19 June 2014

The Places You Love alliance, representing more than 40 Australian environment groups, says the Federal Government should not hand responsibility for protecting the Great Barrier Reef to the Queensland Government.

This follows the UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s decision to give Australia another twelve-month extension before deciding whether to place the Great Barrier Reef on its 'In Danger' list.

The Committee noted the Federal Government’s proposal to hand environmental assessment and approval powers to the Queensland Government was 'premature,’ in last night’s decision.

Asren Pugh, acting director of the Places You Love Alliance welcomed UNESCO’s firm stance on the need for strong reef protection.

"This decision puts the Federal Government on notice, that they need to lift their efforts to avoid the reef being listed as in danger next year," Mr Pugh said.

“UNESCO specifically highlighted the need for Great Barrier Reef governance arrangements to ‘carry the confidence of stakeholders.’

“Neither the state or federal government currently has the confidence of the community when it comes to acting in the interests of the Great Barrier Reef.

“In fact, when UNESCO highlighted the risks shipping posed to the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman’s response was ‘we’re in the coal business,’ ignoring the $6 billion tourism industry and the 60,000 jobs that rely on a healthy Reef.

“The current environmental laws are completely inadequate. The Federal Government should not be handing responsibility for the Great Barrier Reef to the Queensland Government," Mr Pugh said.

Media contact: Jessica Kendall – 0414 679 857

SCEC is a member of the Places You Love Alliance