PROTECTING OUR WORLD HERITAGE SITE
The Palaszczuk Government has kept every promise we made to protect and manage the Great Barrier Reef. So far the Government has:
- Protected the Great Barrier Reef and the Caley Valley wetlands by not allowing dredge spoil to be dumped on the wetlands or in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (as the former LNP government proposed to do).
- Passed new ports legislation to limit port expansion and prohibit at-sea dumping of dredge spoil in the World Heritage Area and protected the Fitzroy River Delta from future port development.
- Created three net-free fishing zones in Cairns, Mackay and Rockhampton.
We made an election commitment to provide an additional $100 million to reduce damage to the Great Barrier Reef. The Palaszczuk Government constituted the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce led by the Queensland Chief Scientist, so that scientists, not politicians, can decide where funding should go.
Following the recommendations of the Great Barrier Reef Science Taskforce, the Queensland Government has committed to:
- a ban on sea dumping of capital dredge spoil within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area;
- allocating the additional $100 million over five years towards water quality initiatives, scientific research and helping businesses transition to better environmental practices in the primary production and fishing industries;
- implementing vegetation protection laws in consultation with landowners to minimise damaging run-off to the Great Barrier Reef. You will note that these laws were not passed in Parliament as they did not have the support of the LNP Opposition or the independents. I can assure you that the Palaszczuk Government remains committed to introducing these laws and will take them to the next election;
- reinstating world-class coastal planning laws.
These actions have been recognised by the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Environmental, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in its unanimous decision not to list the Great Barrier Reef as a ‘world heritage site in danger.’