The release of the 2020-2021 workplan for the Reef Trust Partnership once again shows the Reef requires comprehensive, science-based protection by its proper management authority, and government-wide action on the climate crisis, says Greens Leader in the Senate and Queensland Senator Larissa Waters
“The Liberals would privatise their mothers if they could, and the Great Barrier Reef is the latest casualty of this ideology,” Senator Waters said.
“The Great Barrier Reef has faced three of the worst coral bleaching episodes in its long history in the last five years because of coal-driven climate change. This workplan talks about the need to tackle climate change and transition to clean energy, but does nothing towards that goal.”
“The proposal for tackling coral bleaching is not job-creating climate action, but research into shadecloths.
“The proposal for a ‘national behavioural change challenge’ to tackle climate change focuses on community projects, not changing the behaviour of the fossil fuel industry.
“The climate crisis worsens as the Morrison government dances to its fossil fuel donors’ tune, and now they want praise for researching a glorified sun umbrella for the 50% of coral left in the Reef.
“Shadecloths and Crown of Thorns starfish research are bandaid solutions while the big threats to the Reef – climate change and water quality – continue to be ignored or underfunded.
“This workplan is more rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic by a federal government that ignores and worsens the climate crisis, and underfunds water quality improvement by orders of magnitude.
“The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Australian Institute of Marine Science, who have an actual mandate to protect and manage the Reef, have been undermined and continue to be underfunded by the Morrison Government.
“The 60,000 people who rely on a healthy Reef, and the World Heritage status of this biodiversity icon, demands so much better from the fossil fuel donation-hooked large political parties.”