A win for Great Barrier Reef and jobs

Today, the Palaszczuk Government defeated a motion by the LNP to disallow the commencement of regulations that protect the Great Barrier Reef and the jobs that rely on it.

Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said that the Great Barrier Reef is a world heritage listed icon that contributes $6 billion to the Australian economy every year and supports over 60,000 jobs.

“While we’re focused on our plan to Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs, the Member for Broadwater turned his back on the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland’s tourism industry, putting at risk thousands of jobs,” Minister Enoch said.

“The science is very clear that poor water quality is a major threat to the Reef, particularly for inshore coral ecosystems.

“Improving water quality gives the Reef the best chance of survival in a changing climate. The Palaszczuk Government’s measures support the productive, profitable, and sustainable growth of farms and will grow a Reef safe agricultural industry.

Daniel Gschwind, Chief Executive of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council said that the Great Barrier Reef is one of Queensland’s most valuable economic and natural assets.

“Every Queenslander has a stake in its future, not least every community along the coast that benefits from a sustainable $6 billion a year reef tourism industry.” Mr Gschwind said.

“In its scientific Outlook Report, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) has identified sediment and nutrient run off as an ongoing risk to the resilience of this ecosystem which is under threat from global climate change.

“Many farmers have made great efforts to improve farm practices to reduce and monitor adverse impacts on the reef but we need the entire sector and every farmer to adopt the agreed minimum standards and actively contribute to achieving the necessary water quality targets to keep our reef healthy.

“Our country’s reputation and competitiveness also depends on us demonstrating our capacity and ongoing commitment to look after this extraordinary World Heritage asset,” he said.

Five new research projects will support the Government’s roll out of the Reef Regulations focusing on the role people, culture, policy and economic factors play in improving water quality flowing to the Great Barrier Reef.

Minister Enoch said that $1 million is being provided for this high priority research need, as identified in the Reef 2050 Water Quality Research, Development and Innovation Strategy 2017-2022.

“The successful projects will support 40 researchers across university and research organisations to achieve better decisions and outcomes for the Reef,” Minister Enoch said.

The five projects are engaging with key stakeholders including existing partnership committees, land managers, the agricultural and research sector, regional natural resource management bodies, industry bodies, and Reef program investors.

The Palaszczuk Government, through the Queensland Reef Water Quality Program, is working with the agricultural industry and the scientific community to deliver better water quality outcomes for the Reef.

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.