Media Release Climate Change

Society of coral scientists is clear on the dangers of misinformation and polluted water to the Great Barrier Reef

August 14, 2019

A public statement from a society of Australia’s leading coral reef scientists is warning the Queensland public is being misinformed by a sugar cane industry-sponsored speaking tour, a concern shared by the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).

The statement from the Australian Coral Reef Society (ACRS) says the group is “deeply concerned” by the lecture tour sponsored by the sugar cane industry group, Canegrowers.

The ACRS’s statement looks in detail at claims being made by Dr Peter Ridd, who is in the middle of the speaking tour in north Queensland.

In the statement, the ACRS adds that our Great Barrier Reef is facing “fundamental challenges” from rapidly warming ocean temperatures caused by climate change, coupled with poor water quality.

AMCS spokesperson Shani Tager says: “Australia’s top coral reef scientists couldn’t be clearer, our Reef needs serious, urgent action on water quality to give it the best chance of a healthy future. The Canegrowers speaking tour is simply spreading misinformation. It is time to respect the science.”

“We need the Queensland Government to get on with the job of passing its new laws that will clean up the water on our Reef.

“Voluntary programs haven’t done anywhere near enough to clean up the water, this bill is absolutely necessary.

“Cutting farm pollution and cleaning up our Reef’s water is essential to give our Reef a fighting chance to survive climate change.

“Australia made a promise to the World Heritage committee that it would take steps to clean up the Reef’s water. When the committee meets again next year to talk about our Reef, it will be looking at what action has been taken.”


AMCS media advisor Graham Readfearn 0406 241 081

Notes: The ACRS statement is available at