Reef decoy report confirms PR role is for Morrison, not reef, should be abolished

13 February 2020

The Morrison Government’s “Reef Envoy” role should be abolished, as Warren Entsch has confirmed he’s nothing more than a “Reef Decoy” tasked with marketing the Morrison Government rather than advocating for the Reef.
Mr Entsch’s report, released last week, laid to rest any notion that he is working for the Reef.
In his first report, Mr Entsch brushed over the impacts of climate change inaction, water quality and crown of thorns star fish.
It follows a series of damning reports into the health of the Reef under the LNP’s watch, and comes as the Liberal National Party fights against new water quality laws designed to protect the Reef.
Shadow Minister for the Environment and Water Terri Butler said it’s clear the Morrison Government has no plan for the Reef, just like they have no plan for the other great policy challenges confronting our nation.
“The Reef Envoy is a PR decoy for the Morrison Government, not an advocate for the Reef,” Ms Butler said.
“Mr Entsch’s report, which reads more like a brochure for the Morrison Government, confirms that despite taxpayer funds being piled into this role, there is nothing of substance to show for it,” she said.
Labor is calling on the Morrison Government to immediately abolish the PR decoy role and use the money to support local tourism operators doing it tough in Cairns.
“This money would be better spent supporting local tourism operators in Cairns,” Ms Butler said.

The call comes after Minister Ley was forced into an embarrassing backflip on official reporting for the role after pressure from Labor. Mr Entsch was labelled “Barnaby mark 2,” with secret text message reports on the cards, following the Barnaby Joyce Drought Envoy imbroglio.
However, the PR decoy role is still not subject to parliamentary scrutiny, despite being publicly funded.
“The LNP outrageously allocated $444 million in Reef protection funds to a tiny, ill-equipped foundation, in a backroom deal without a tender, as Reef health goes backwards. The Reef Envoy role is another Morrison marketing farce and the government has no plan to address the biggest threats to the Reef,” Ms Butler said.
Mr Entsch is on the record denying the greatest threats to the Reef and the science of coral bleaching and climate change, last year, when he said:
“It has been happening for millennia.”

“Our Reef is one of our greatest assets; it deserves serious advocates, strong protections and a long term plan, not a Morrison Government focused on marketing itself,” Ms Butler said.
This Government is failing to protect Australia’s biggest tourism asset which contributes $6.4 billion toward the national economy and creates 64,000 jobs.