MORRISON GOVERNMENT MUST HEED THE WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE WARNING TO ACT ON REEF PROTECTION

By Terri Butler MP

28 July 2021

The Morrison Government needs to heed the warning from last week’s World Heritage Committee consideration and dramatically improve its efforts to protect the Reef.

The World Heritage Committee has put the Morrison Government on notice that Australia needs to demonstrate real action to protect the Great Barrier Reef, and real action on the Reef’s greatest threat, climate change.

The committee decided a reactive monitoring mission should visit the Reef. 

The Morrison Government must announce when that mission will occur. The committee also told the Morrison Government to provide a further report on the Reef by February. 

The Morrison Government will need to be in a position to show genuine improvement in Reef protection by that time.

They will have to do much better on climate action if they want to show that they are taking climate change’s threat to the Great Barrier Reef seriously.

The Morrison Government should work with the Queensland Government to finalise the overdue update to the Reef 2050 plan following last week’s World Heritage Committee deliberations.

The international community is concerned about the Reef. So too are Australians. 

The Reef supports 64,000 jobs and billions of dollars in revenue in a non-covid year. 

And it is one of the natural wonders of the world, an invaluable part of our world’s natural heritage. 

Australians know that the Morrison Government’s incompetence has brought the Reef to the brink of an ‘in danger’ list. 

The Morrison Government has had a temporary reprieve. Let’s hope that reprieve provides the impetus they need to dramatically lift their game.

WEDNESDAY, 28 JULY 2021