The Liberal National Party Opposition in Queensland has moved to undo water quality laws that will give our Reef a cleaner future says the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).
The LNP yesterday introduced a disallowance motion into state parliament to roll back regulations that were introduced in 2019 to clean up water quality on the Great Barrier Reef.
AMCS spokesperson Shani Tager said: “These laws are desperately needed to clean up the water on our Reef after years of voluntary measures to stop farm pollution have failed.
“Our Reef has just experienced its third mass bleaching in five years; the Reef’s tourism industry is on its knees as a result of the pandemic and the opposition’s response is to attack laws that will help our Reef recover.
“It’s beyond belief that in the midst of a pandemic the LNP spends their time trying to unwind the progress that has been made in the last twelve months to give our Reef a healthy future.
“The science is clear, agricultural runoff is damaging to our Reef and animals like turtles and dugongs that call it home. These laws are essential to turning that around.
“After climate change triggered mass coral bleaching this summer, all parties should be doing everything they can to fight for our Reef, not taking backwards steps like these.
“Right now the focus needs to be on protecting our Reef, supporting Reef communities and the tourism industry to rebuild once the Covid-19 restrictions ease. For tourists to enjoy our beautiful Reef into the future, it needs clean water.”
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee will be assessing Australia’s performance in protecting the Reef at their next meeting.
“To keep our Reef off the World Heritage Committee’s ‘in danger’ list means Queensland and the Commonwealth will have to show they are taking action on the biggest threats to the Reef, climate change and water quality. Rolling back clean water laws would be a disaster for the case that Australia is doing all it can to protect our global icon,” Ms Tager added.