The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) today welcomed the release of the latest Great Barrier Reef Report Card but called for a much greater effort to clean up the Reef’s waters.
The 2015-2016 Report Card found that there were some improvements in the adoption of best management practices on farms and some reduction in pollution loads washing into the Reef.
AMCS Reef campaign director Imogen said the Reef had been through two years of severe coral bleaching driven by climate change caused by burning fossil fuels such as coal and gas.
“The resilience of the Reef is being tested like never before. We need to be doing all we can to relieve pressure on our greatest natural asset,” Ms Zethoven said.
“This year the World Heritage Committee strongly encouraged Australia to accelerate efforts to meet the Reef 2050 Plan’s water quality targets which it said are essential to the overall resilience of the Reef.
“This year’s report card shows that some limited progress is being made but it’s not fast enough. The 2018 targets in the Plan to reduce sediment, agricultural fertiliser and pesticide runoff will not be met.
“AMCS is calling on the Qld LNP to put politics aside, put the Reef first and support the government’s stronger tree clearing laws in the next term of government.
“The extent of deforestation in Queensland – and in the Reef catchment – has reached alarming levels. This will lead to more sediment pollution of the Reef’s waters, smothering inshore corals and seagrass meadows, home to threatened dugong and turtles.
“AMCS is also calling for new laws to regulate agricultural pollution and a far greater investment in catchment restoration.
“64,000 jobs depend on a healthy Great Barrier Reef. We need to be doing everything we can to protect these clean, long-term jobs and our most loved natural asset which generates more than $6 bn a year to the Australian economy,” Ms Zethoven said.
Ingrid Neilson, Communications and Marketing Manager – 0421 972 731 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Imogen Zethoven, Fight For Our Reef Campaign Director – 0431 565 495 – email@example.com