Labor takes action over reef

Labor takes action to avoid reef in danger listing

The Palaszczuk Government is today taking action to protect the reef and avoid an in danger listing by UNESCO following the disappointing result of the vote on vegetation protections laws late last night.

The Deputy Premier and Minister for Environment Steven Miles will write to the Federal Government to jointly make representations to UNESCO urging them not to list the reef as in danger at their meeting next year.

The Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said the intergovernmental agreement in relation the Reef 2050 Plan had legal status and importantly it includes reinstating tree clearing protection laws here in Queensland.

“Last night’s vote was a vote to protect the Great Barrier Reef,” Ms Trad said.

“It was a disappointing result and more than anything it damages this incredible world icon.

“Now we need to explain to the global community that while the LNP have abandoned the reef plan, the Palaszczuk government remains 100 per cent committed.

“Understandably some stakeholders will urge the World Heritage Committee to reconsider the decision of 2015 not to delist the Great Barrier Reef from the World Heritage List.

“When member countries consider our progress report due in December we will urge them to recognize the government took every possible step to pass these laws. We will urge them to delay any reconsideration until after the next Queensland election.”

“If re-elected we will pass these important laws.

“We will implement all of the other commitments we made in the Reef 2050 plan, and we will take what steps we can to limit land clearing without the support of other elements of the Queensland Parliament.”

Environment Minister Steven Miles said the Palaszczuk Government would continue to protect the reef through other measures.

“The Palaszczuk Government accepts the science and we accept the need for Queensland to credibly play a role in limiting global warming which threatens our reef,” Dr Miles said.

“Unfortunately the Queensland Government does not hold a parliamentary majority and there are members on the other side of our political system who have publicly questioned the human role in climate change.

“We will forge ahead with the implementation of the rest of the Reef 2050 Plan and in fact we have already made several major achievements.

“This includes new ports legislation to limit port development to the four major ports and banning at sea disposal of capital dredge spoil.

“We’ve created three new net free areas and we’re in the process of restoring coastal planning and water laws.

“We have also purchased Springvale Station, a property responsible for 500,000 tonnes of sediment runoff into the reef, and have begun scoping to undertake gully remediation on the property.

“To fall just one vote short on the Bill last night was devastating but we will not give up.”